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Advanced Shipboard Management (ASM)

Record of Changes

S. No. Date Chapter Page
Nature of Changes /
Authorised By


Chapter Page No.

1. Indian Merchant Shipping Act 4
2. Documentation 24
3. Custom House Procedures 31
4. Stowaways 37
5. Master-Pilot Relationship 48
6. Economics of Sea Transport 68
7. Shipping Practice
And Documents 80
8. Marine Insurance 130
9. International Institutions 158
10. Amendments to SOLAS,
International Load lines etc. 192
11. Control Procedures 224
12. Port State Control 237
13. International Safety
Management Code (ISM Code) 250
14. Additional topics 270
– ILO Conventions
– Ballast Water Management
– CLC/FUND/HNS Conventions
– London Convention

Chapter 1 - Merchant Shipping Act,

Chapter 1 - Merchant Shipping Act, 1958

Its intent and purpose

India has been a seafaring nation for centuries. She has built up a glorious maritime
history and tradition much before the rise of European maritime powers. The Indian ships
used to sail across many sea sand carried on prosperous trade with Asian and Middle East
countries. Since the advent of British Rule, the development of indigenous shipping
industry was discouraged because of preferential treatment given to British shipping. The
restrictive British navigational laws not only hindered the growth and development of
Indian shipping but gradually made it disappeared from High Seas.

The Indian Merchant Shipping Law as it existed in 19th century has never been on sound
footing. The British law was applicable to Indian ships trading in international sea
voyages as these ships were required to be registered under U.K. Merchant Shipping Act
and therefore, technically they were British Ships although registered in India. The Indian
Merchant Shipping Law was nebulous and sketchy. Between the years 1938 to 1947, the
following legislation on merchant shipping were held the field (a) The Bombay Coasting
Vessels Act, 1938 (b) The Indian Registration of Ships Act, 1841 (as amended in 1950);
and (c) The Indian Merchant Shipping Act, 1923. The first of the three enactments
referred to above dealt with regulations of seagoing vessels. The 1841 act embodied in it
provisions relating to registration of sailing vessels. Both these enactments had, however,
been so modelled as to apply only to small coasters and sailing vessels. The third Act,
namely, the Indian Merchant Shipping Act, 1923 was fairly comprehensive. Indian
Merchant Shipping Law consolidating the provisions of the earlier two acts was
supplemented by passing of the Seamen (Litigation) Act, 1946 and Control of Indian
Shipping Act, 1947. This Act had, however, only consolidated the laws on merchant
shipping and it did not revise the law and therefore, was found wanting in many respects.
The provisions of the International Conventions with respect to Load Lines, 1930 and
SOLAS, 1948, both of which were ratified by India were later on incorporated through
Indian Merchant Shipping Amendment Acts of 1933 and 1953.

Immediately after the independence to suit the requirements of a maritime country like
India, the Indian Parliament passed the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958. This Act had made
good the main deficiency in the earlier laws that they did not provide for registration of
what may be termed as Indian Ships. Certain enabling provisions were also incorporated
in the Act to accelerate the pace of development of shipping in the post independence
period. This Act is divided into 24 parts, each part dealing with specific aspects of
merchant shipping like registration of ships, sailing vessels and fishing vessels, National
Shipping Board, manning of ships, engagement, discharge and repatriation of seamen and
apprentices, safety of passenger and cargo ships, control of Indian ships and ships
engaged in the coasting trade, collisions, prevention and control of pollution of the sea by
oil from ships, limitation of ship-owners' liability, civil liability for oil pollution damage

The different parts of the Act came into force on different dates as indicated below:

(i) Parts I & II came into force on 15.12.1958

(ii) Part IV came into force on 17.3.1959

(iii) Section 7, Part XIV (including Section 405-414), Section 436, (in so far as it relates
to offences mentioned against S. o. 122 to 125 (both inclusive), Sections 437, 438, 439,
440, 441, 458, 459 and 460 and so much of section 461 and of part I of Schedule as
relates to the Control of Shipping Act, 1947 came into force on 1.4.1960

(iv) The remaining provisions of the original Act (except the amendments made
subsequently) came into force w.e.f. 1.1.1961
(v) Part VIA providing for obligation of certain certificate holders to serve Govt. or in
Indian Ships was inserted by amendment Act of 1979 came into force from 4.5.1979

(vi) Part IX A dealing with nuclear ships inserted by Amendment Act of 1966 came into
force from 28.5.1966

(vii) Part X A giving provisions for limitations of liability of owners in case of certain
damages inserted by Amendment Act of 1970, came into force from 15.9.1972

(viii) Part X B giving provisions for civil liability for oil pollution damage was inserted
by Amendment Act of 1983 came into force from 18.5.1983

(ix) Part XV A giving provisions for fishing boats inserted by Amendment Act of 1983,
which came into force from 18.5.1983

Layout of Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (MSA 58)

The first Indian Merchant Shipping Act was enacted in 1923, the provisions of which
were in line with the U.K. Merchant Shipping Act, 1894. After independence, taking care
of new conditions and changes that have taken place in the Shipping Industry, a
comprehensive legislation passed by Indian Parliament in 1958 known as Merchant
Shipping Act, 1958. The Act has been constantly under revision and amendments to
ratify the changes approved by the International Maritime Organisation, through its
conventions and protocols, to which India is a Member.

The Merchant Shipping Act as is existed today has 24 parts. The basic provisions of Act
given in various parts are as under:

Part I deals with the preliminary giving short title of the Act and date of
commencement, application of the Act and definitions of the terms used in the Act. The
definitions have been given for 66 terms. Besides certain terms have been defined in their
appropriate part where they have occurred specifically.

Part II of the Act contains provisions relating to the establishment and composition of'
National Shipping Board, its functions and powers of the Government to make rules in
this respect for term of office of members, appointment of officers or other allowances of
Board members.

Part III deals with the General Administration, appointment of Director General,
establishment of Mercantile Marine Departments, Shipping Offices, Seaman's
employment offices and Seamen’s Welfare Offices. It also deals with the appointment of
Principal Officers at MMD, Mumbai, Calcutta and Madras and other officers at other
ports, appointment of surveyors, radio inspectors, Shipping Masters, Director of
Seamen's Employment Offices and Seamen's Welfare Officers.

Part IV - which dealt with the formation of Shipping Development Fund and
establishment of Shipping Development Fund Committee, has been abolished vide M.S.
(Amendment) Act of 1986 (66 of 1986)

Part V deals with the registration of Indian ships. It defines the Indian ships, contains
provisions for obligation to register, procedure for registration, Grant of certificate of
registry, endorsement for change of Master and Owner, provision far transfer of ships
shares etc., rules as to name of ship, provisions for registry of alternations registry a new
and transfer of registry, national character of the ships and flag etc.

Part VI - gives provisions relating to the certificates of officers - Masters, Mates,
Engineers, Skippers etc., and also requirements of officers on board various category of
ships. Review Committee has recommended that instead of specifying the manning scale
in the Act itself, Government should have rule making powers to prescribe different
manning scale for different types of ships and also to carry a safe manning document on
board the ship.
Part VI A contains provisions for obligation of certain certificate holders to serve
Government or in Indian ships.

Part VII deals with seamen and apprentices. It gives vide ranging provision for
classification of seamen, their engagements, discharge, payment of wages, their right for
wages dispute between seamen and employers, provisions for property of deceased
seamen and apprentices, distressed seamen, provisions for health and accommodation,
protection of seamen in case of litigation and other matters, provision as to discipline,
duties of Shipping Master, business of Seamen's employment offices and function of
National Welfare Board for seafarers, provisions for rule making powers for imposition
of the Board, term of office of members, procedure for conduct of business, levy of fee
for providing amenities to seamen and procedure for collection and recovery of Levy

Part VIII deals with passenger ships, their survey, Certificate of survey, powers of
surveyor, fee, duration of survey, etc. It provides for keeping order in passenger ships
specifying certain acts of persons as an offence under the act. This part also contains
provision for special trade passenger ships and pilgrim ships.

Part IX of the Merchant Shipping Act 1958 deals with the provisions relating to Safety.
This part gives the provisions relating to construction rules for ships, prevention of
collisions, life saving appliances and fire appliances, installation of radio telegraphy
radio telephony and direction finders, signalling lamp and provisions relating to stability
information. The part also deals with the provisions relating to Safety Certificates, Safety
equipment certificates, Safety radio telegraphy Certificates, exemption certificates, etc.,
provision for determining load lines, issue of load line certificates and special provisions
as to ships other than Indian ships. This part also provides powers to make rules as to
timber cargo, carriage of dangerous goods, grain loading plan and carriage of grain.
The provisions also exists for sub-division load lines, un-seaworthy Ships, detention
of unsafe ships and liability for cost of detention and powers to make rules to issue
certificates under this part.

Part IX A Deals with Nuclear Ships which includes application or non application of
certain provision of this Act to Nuclear ships, issue of Nuclear passenger and Nuclear
Cargo Ship Safety Certificate and powers to make rules in this respect.

Part X - This part deals with the collision, accident at sea and liability, which includes
provision for division of loss in case of collision, damages for personal injury etc.

Part X A - gives provision for limitation of liability of owners in case of certain

Part X B – gives provision for civil liability for oil pollution damage. It embodies
provisions for limitation of liability of the owner, constitution of limitation fund,
consolidation of claims & distribution of fund amongst claimants, provision for
compulsory insurance or other financial guarantee and rule making powers.

Part XI - This part gives provision for regular method of giving helm orders, duty of
master to report danger to navigation, manner of communicating reports of danger to
navigations, obligation to render assistance to persons and ships in danger, etc. This part
is also under amendments in accordance with the recommendations given by the review
committee to include foreign flag vessels under purview, giving information by Indian
ships about position, course, speed to maritime administration and provision for Indian
ships to be fitted with prescribed navigational aids and equipments.

Part XI A – Prevention and containment of pollution of sea by Oil:
This part contains provision for prevention of pollution and gives powers to Central
Government for prohibition as to discharge of oil and oily mixtures, inspection and
control of ships to which Oil Pollution Convention applies, maintenance or Oil record
book, oil reception facilities at the ports in India and powers of the
Government to take measures for preventing or containing oil pollution, direction to
certain ships to render assistance and levy of oil pollution cess. The Government under
the provision of this part can also frame rules.

This part does not contain provision for the action to be taken when oil is escaped. The
review Committee has recommended empowering the Central Government to take
appropriate action when oil is escaped.

Part XII: This part provides the provision for investigation and inquiries in shipping
casualties. It gives powers to the Court for holding formal investigations, to arrest
witnesses or enter the ships, to commit trial, to censure masters, mates or engineer, or to
remove master. Counsellor officer can appoint a marine board if the casualty occurs at
foreign waters. Central Government can cancel or suspend certificate of Master, Mate or
Engineer. Constitution of court of survey, reference in difficult cases to scientific persons
and investigation into explosions or fire on board of ship are the other provisions of this

Part XIII - This part gives provision for matters relating to wreck and salvage. India has
ratified 1989 Salvage Convention and therefore review committee has suggested
that provisions of this Convention may be inserted amending Section 390, 398, 402 (1)
and 404.

Part XIV - of the Act gives powers to the Central Govt. for control of Indian ships and
ships engaged in coasting trade. Section 412 giving powers to fix shipping rates has
already been abolished. Some relaxation has also been given under cabotage law.

Part XV – contains the provisions for sailing vessels and part XV A for fishing boats,
their registry, name, inspection, certification etc.

Part XVI – gives the provisions for penalties for violation of the provisions of the Act and
procedure thereof.

Part XVII` contains miscellaneous provisions for appointing examiners, powers of ship
surveyor, inquiry into case of death on board the ships etc.

Indian Ships, Registration


A ship entitled to fly the flag of a country needs to be registered in that country. The
object of registration is to ensure that persons who are entitled to the privilege and
protection of the Indian flag get them. The registration affords evidence of title off the
ship to those who deal with the property in question. It also gives protection to the
members of the crew in case of casualties involving injuries and/or loss of life to claim
compensation under the provisions of the Indian Acts in Indian courts.

Indian Merchant Shipping Act of 1958, for the first time, dealt with registration of ships.
Earlier acts had lacked this aspect totally. Part V of this Act deals with exclusively with
the registration of Indian ships, while Part XV deals with registration of sailing vessels
and Part XV A deals with the registration of fishing boats.

Ships, which qualify to be registered, are required to be registered only at ports
designated as ports of registry. At present Mumbai, Calcutta, Madras, Cochin and
Mormugao have been notified as ports of registry and principal officers of Mumbai,
Calcutta & Madras and Surveyor in charge of Cochin and Mormugao have been notified
as Registrar of Indian ships. In their capacity as registrar of Indian ships, the principal
officers are required to maintain a complete record of Ships on register indicating status
of the ship on a particular date. A central register is maintained by the Director General
of Shipping, which contains all the entries recorded in the register books kept by the
registrar at the port of registry in India. The Director General of Shipping, at the request
of owners of Indian ships, desiring to be known at sea, allots signal letter & controls the
series that may be so issued. Certain formalities are required to be complied with before a
ship is registered. Part V of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 and Registration of ships
rules, 1960 as amended from time to time, are concerned with the Registration of Indian

Status of Indian Ships

The conferment of status of Indian ships is restricted to:

Ships owned by a citizen of India
Ships owned by a company or body established by or under any central or state
Act which has its principle place of business in India
Ships owned by a co-operative society which is registered or deemed to be
registered under the Co-operative Society Act, 1912, or any other law relating to
Co-operative Societies for the time being in force in any state

Qualification required for registration as Indian ships

Sea going ships fitted with mechanical means of propulsion of 15 tons net and above
howsoever employed and those of less than 15 tons net employed otherwise than solely
on the coasts of Indian qualify for registration under Part V of the Merchant Shipping
Act, 1958. Ships that are able to be registered are required to be registered only at ports
designated as ports of registry.

In their capacity as Registrar of ships, the Principal officers and concerned Surveyors
In-charge are required to maintain a complete record of ships on register indicating as on
a particular date the person/persons, either in their individual capacity or as joint owners
or as a corporate body, who have a stake in the ownership of ships. Not more than 10
individuals are entitled to be registered as owner of a fractional part of a share in a ship,
but a maximum of 5 persons could be registered as joint owners of a ship or of any share
and shares therein. Joint owners by reason of the position as such cannot, however,
dispose off in severalty, any share or interest therein.

Formalities to be observed for registration as Indian ship

The owner of a ship wishing to have it registered at a port in India has to submit to the
concerned Register:

a) A declaration of ownership - in one or the other prescribe forms, as may be applicable,
depending upon whether he is a sole proprietor, joint owner or a company made before a
Registrar, Justice of the peace or an Indian Consular Officer.

b) A certificate signed by the builder (builder's certificate) of the ship containing a true
account of the proper denomination and of the tonnage of the ship as estimated by him
and the time, when and the place where the ship was built, (for new ship).

c) The instrument of sale under which the property of the ship was transferred to the
applicant who requires it to be registered in his name, (for second-hand ships).

d) To give a minimum of 14 days notice to the Registrar of the name proposed for the
ship. The Registrar before registering the vessel in the name of the applicant shall obtain
prior approval of the name from the Director General of Shipping who will also allot an
official number for the ship.

e) On being satisfied that the ship, on the strength of the evidence placed before him, is
entitled to be Indian ship, the Registrar arranges for survey of the ship by a surveyor for
the determination of her tonnage in accordance with the Merchant Shipping (Tonnage
Measurement) Rules, 1987 as amended from time to time, for the purpose of issue of a
Certificate of Survey.

After the formalities enumerated above have been gone through, the Registrar issues a
carving and marking note. This note is to be returned to the Registrar after carving and
marking have been duly carried out on the ship in the prescribed manner and certified by
a Surveyor. The carving and marking involves the carving of the name of the ship
conspicuously on each side of her bows as well as insertion permanently on her stern the
name of the intended port of registry.

On completion of the preliminaries to registry as described in the preceding paragraphs,
the Registrar enters the particulars of the ship such as:

a) Name of the ship and the port to which she belongs
b) Details contained in the Surveyors Certificate
c) Particulars respecting her origin as revealed in the declaration of ownership
d) The name and description of her registered owner and, if there are more owners than
one, the number of shares owned by each of them; and
e) Name of the Master, in the Registry Book. The Registrar issues thereafter to the
owners a certificate of registry retaining the Surveyor's certificate, builders certificate,
instrument of sale by which the ship was sold, and the declaration of ownership

Formalities connected with registration of an Indian ship when acquired abroad

When a ship is built or acquired out of India and becomes the property of a person
qualified to own an Indian ship, the owner or the Master of the ship will have to apply to
the Indian Consular Officer at the nearest port for the issue of a provisional certificate of
Indian registry and such officer, on production of satisfactory proof of ownership, grant
the same to the owner or the Master. Such a certificate has all the force of a certificate of
registry. It is, however, valid for a period of 6 months from its date of issue or until the
arrival of the ship at a port where there is a Registrar whichever first happens and on
either of these events happening would cease to have effect. The provisional certificate so
issued will have to be exchanged by the owner for a certificate of registry from the
concerned Registrar.

Quite often a ship has to set sail from a port where she is built in India to a port where she
has to be registered. The owner in such cases or where he has applied to the Registrar for
registration but delay in the issue of certificate of registry is anticipated, the Registrar
may, on the strength of the authority issued by the Director General of Shipping, issue a
temporary pass to enable the ship to ply between the ports in India.

The Certificate of Registry has to be used only for the lawful navigation of the ship and is
not to be detained by reason of any lien, mortgage of interest whatsoever claimed by any

No change in the name already in the registry is permitted except in accordance with the
procedure laid down in the M.S. (Registration of Ships) Rules, as amended from time to
time. Application for the registry of alterations to a ship will have to be made to the
Registrar within one month of the alterations.

Where the alterations are material so as to affect the principal dimensions of a ship or the
means of propulsion, a ship will have to be registered as new and, in that event, rules
applicable for first registry will come into force.
Where a ship is registered under circumstances envisaged in paragraph immediately
above this, the original certificate of registry stands cancelled and the existing entries in
the registry remain closed. The original official number allotted to ship, is however,

Where transfer of a port of registry is desired by all the parties having a stake in the
ownership or otherwise of the ship, they shall apply to the Registrar of her port of
registry, who may, with the prior approval of the Director General of Shipping have no
objection to such transfer subject to such formalities as has been laid down in the M.S.
(Registration of Ships) Rules and on payment of the requisite fees prescribed thereof.

Whenever there is any change in the Master of an Indian ship, in whatever the way the
change has come about, a memorandum of change has to be endorsed and signed on the
Certificate of Registry by the Presiding Officer of a Marine Board or a Court if the
change of Master is brought about as a result of the findings of the Marine Board of

Inquiry or the Registrar or any other officer authorized by the Central Government or the
Indian Consular Officer depending upon whether the change has occurred in India or

In the event of an Indian Ship being either actually or constructively lost, taken by the
enemy, burnt or broken up or ceasing for any reason to be an Indian ship, every owner of
the ship or any share in the ship is required to give a notice thereof to the Registrar and
thereupon the Registrar will make an appropriate entry in the Register Book and the entry
of the ship in that book would then be deemed mortgage that lies unsatisfied on that date
will, continue to remain in force. The Master of such a ship, if the event accrues in India,
will immediately make over the Certificate of Registry to the Registrar or within a period
of 10 days after his arrival in India if the event occurs elsewhere.

Transmission of an Indian ship or interest therein

Where the property in an Indian ship or share therein is transmitted to a person on the
death or insolvency of the registered owner or by any lawful means other than a transfer
described as above, it would be effected by an application made to the Registrar of the
ship's port of registry accompanied by a declaration in the prescribed form identifying the
ship and also a statement of the manner in which and the person to whom the property
has been transmitted. In the case of transmission consequent on insolvency, a declaration
of transmission has to be accompanied by proof of such claim. In the case of transmission
as a result of death, a Succession certificate, probate or letters of Administration, under
the Indian Succession Act, 1925 or a duly certified copy thereof, shall accompany the
declaration of transmission. The Registrar on receipt of the declaration of transmission
will make appropriate entry in the register book to give effect to the change in the

Where as a result of the transmission of property in a ship or share there on death or
insolvency or otherwise a ship ceases to be an Indian ship, the Registrar of Port of her
registry will have to submit a report to the Central Government through the Director
General of Shipping setting out the circumstances in which the ship has ceased to be an
Indian ship. On receipt of such a report, Central Government can make an application to
the High Court for a direction for the sale of such Ship to any Indian citizen or any Indian
company. Such an application may have to be made to the High Court by the
Government within 60 days from the date of receipt of the report.

Importance of Signal Letters of a ship (Call Sign)

At the request of the owners of Indian ships desiring to be known at sea, the Director
General of Shipping, who will control the series that may be so issued, allots signal
letters. The allotment of such signal letters are required to be noted in the Register Book
and endorsed suitably on the Certificate of Registry. The allotment of signal letters will
form subject matter of a communication by the Director General of Shipping to the
Wireless Adviser, Ministry of Communication, New Delhi

Responsibilities of the DG Shipping of India with regard to registration of ships

Maintain a Central Register, which would contain not only the names of all ships but also
entries relating to every Indian ship that stand recorded at the various ports of registry.
Details of the Registry of a ship, as well as every subsequent entry relating to that ship
recorded in the Register Book are required to be communicated to the Director General of
Shipping as and when the events occur. On or before the 15th January of each year,
Registrars of each Port are required to submit to the Director General of Shipping a return
showing the number of ships with their tonnage registered in the register book during the
previous year.

Executive Orders: The Director General of Shipping has assigned the work of
maintaining the Central Register of Ships to the Nautical Adviser. All Principal Officers
have been directed to send their returns, including the transcript of registry, to the
Nautical Adviser so that he should be able to maintain the Central Register.

Engagement of seafarers on Indian ships

The following are the special provisions with regard to agreements with crew of Indian

The following provisions shall have effect with respect to every agreement made in India
with the crew of an Indian ship, namely:

(a) The agreement shall, subject to the provision of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958
(MSA 58) is to be signed by each seaman in the presence of a shipping master

(b) The shipping master shall cause the agreement to be read over and explained to each
seaman, in a language understood by him / her or shall otherwise ascertain that each
seaman understands the same before he signs it, and shall attest each signature

(c) When the crew is first engaged, the agreement shall be signed in duplicate, and one
part shall be retained by the shipping master, and the other part shall be delivered to the
master and shall contain a special place or form for the descriptions and signatures of
substitutes or persons engaged subsequently to the first departure of the ship

(d) When a substitute is engaged in the place of a seaman who has duly signed the
agreement and whose services are within twenty-four hours of the ship's putting to sea
lost by death, desertion or other unforeseen cause, the engagement shall, if practicable, be
made before a shipping master, and if not practicable, the master shall, before the ship
puts to sea, if practicable, and, if not, as soon afterwards as possible, cause the agreement
to be read over and explained to the substitute; and the substitute shall thereupon sign the
same in the presence of a witness, who shall attest the signature

In the case of an agreement made in India with the crew of a foreign-going Indian ship,
the following provisions shall have effect in addition to the provisions specified above:

(a) The agreement may be made for a voyage of the ship or if the voyages of the ship
average less than six months in duration, may be made to extend over two or more
voyages, and agreements so made are in the MSA 58 referred to as running agreements

(b) A running agreement may be made to extend over two or more voyages so that it shall
terminate either within six months from the date on which it was executed, or on the first
arrival of the ship at her port of destination in India after the expiration of that period, or
on the discharge of cargo consequent upon such arrival, whichever of these dates shall be
the latest. Provided that no such running agreement shall continue in force, if, after the
expiration of such period of six months as aforesaid, the ship proceeds on a voyage from
a port outside India to any other such port which is not on the direct route or a customary
route to her port of destination in India

(c) On every return to a port in India before the final termination of a running agreement,
the master shall discharge or engage before the shipping master at such port any seaman
whom he is required by law so to discharge or engage, and shall upon every such return
endorse on the agreement a statement (as the case may be) either that no such discharges
or engagements have been made or are intended to be made before the ship leaves port,
or that all those made have been made as required by law

(d) The master shall deliver the running agreement so endorsed to the shipping master,
and the shipping master shall, if the provisions of MSA 58 relating to agreements have
been complied with, sign the endorsement and return the agreement to the master.

Note of Protest

Is the ancient practice of noting of protest still worthwhile in today's world? Should
provisions be made by the companies to provide for noting of protest in their operating

The answer is not straightforward but the following guidelines may be of help to masters
when considering the matter:

1). Noting of protest following an event, which has resulted in damage to the ship or her
cargo or injury to someone on board may be a requirement of the ship's flag state.

2). As a general rule, a note of protest has little, if any, evidential value in court. In most
common-law countries (including England, Canada, India, Australia, English-speaking
South-East Asian and African countries, and the USA), whatever might be said in the
note of protest will need to be established or substantiated in court by further evidence
which may include oral evidence from the master or evidence from independent sources.

3). In those countries where the Romano-Germanic system of law is applied (this
includes most of Continental Europe, French-speaking African countries, Latin America
and Japan), the noting of protest may still be of importance. In some countries, the protest
is still regarded as an essential formal step in the defence of a claim against the ship and

subsequent evidence is introduced as an extension of the original protest. If the master
fails to note protest upon arrival, the defence of a claim may be seriously prejudiced. In
some countries, it is sufficient if the note of protest is sworn before a local public notary
or the consul representing the ship's flag state, but in other countries, such as in France, a
note of protest is usually made before the court.

In Brazil, for instance, the noting of protest must be carried out before the local court
within twenty-four hours of the ship's arrival. If the master fails to do so, the ship-owner
is not entitled to rely on certain defences, which may otherwise have enabled him
successfully to defend a claim.

4) A note of protest can also be helpful when there is a need to pursue a claim, rather than
defending it. If stevedores have damaged the ship or cargo during loading or discharging
operations, a detailed note of protest addressed to the stevedores will certainly be helpful
when pursuing a claim against them, even more so if the note of protest is acknowledged
by the stevedore foreman. Also, if the master has noted protest following an incident
when the ship may have grounded, this will provide useful information when during a
subsequent dry-docking, bottom damage is found and there is a need to relate the claim to
a policy under the hull insurance.

The conclusion is that Masters should not be discouraged from issuing a note of protest
following an incident when they think it would be appropriate to do so. Noting of protest
is more likely to protect the owner's position than do it any harm. Masters should also be
encouraged to contact the P & I Club's local correspondent if they have any doubt as to
whether a note of protest should be issued and as to what formalities need to be carried

Amendments to the merchant Shipping Act, 1958

The Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 has been amended on thirteen occasions since 1958
and the major amendments that were made are as indicated below:

Year 1966

The provisions of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1960 were
inserted in the Act
The Special Trade Passenger Ship Agreement, 1971 and
The Protocol on space Requirements for Special Trade Passenger Ships, 1973. The
amended provisions of Law aim at upgrading safety requirements applicable to special
Trade Passenger Ships (Formerly known as un-berthed Passenger Ships)

Year 1979

Provision for placing an obligation on the persons obtaining certificates of competency
under the Act to serve Government or Indian Ships for a specified period was
incorporated in the Act

Year 1981

Provisions to enable the Co-operative Societies to own and register ships was
incorporated in the Act

Year 1983

The provisions of the International Convention on Control and Prevention of Pollution of
Sea by ships in accordance with the amendments to the 1954 Oil Pollution Convention;
giving provisions for civil liability for Oil Pollution damage, was incorporated in Part X
B of the Act. The 1983 amendment act also provided to insert new provisions for
registration of fishing boats, their inspection etc, in Part XV A of the Act,

Year 1984

Provisions in relation to Welfare of Seamen and insurance of crew of sailing vessels, etc.
was incorporated in the Act

Year 1986

Section 80 of the Act regarding grant of certificate of service to naval officers was
deleted from the Act, as the International Convention on Standards of training,
Certification and Watch-keeping 1978 (to which India is a party) does not permit grant of
certificates of service without examination

An Act called the Shipping Development Fund Committee (Abolition) Act, 1986 was
passed to abolish the SDFC constituted under the M.S. Act, 1958. The Central
Government delegated the Shipping credit and Investment Company of India Limited, a
Company registered under the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956) with all its functions in

Year 1987

Provision with regard to manning of ships by certificated officers in accordance with the
Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping Convention of 1978 was inserted
in the Act
Year 1988

Provisions of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage,
1969 and its 1976 Protocol was inserted in Part X B of the Act

Year 1993

On the recommendation of the M.S.A Review Committee, the Sections 21,42,45,51, 412
and 414 of the M.S. Act, 1958 were amended. The Govt. of India in 1991 set up a
Review Committee under the Chairmanship of Director General of Shipping to review

the Merchant Shipping Act 1958 in its entirety taking into consideration the international
conventions which India has ratified but not enacted statutorily. The Committee has gone
into depth of the provisions of M.S. Act 1958 and has suggested wide ranging
amendments of various sections including the preamble. These
suggestions/recommendations of the Review Committee are under consideration of the
Government to amend the M.S. Act 1958 for incorporating the same. The policy of
liberalisation adopted by the Government since 1991 has also been taken care of for
inclusion in the Merchant Shipping Act

INDIAN MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT (Latest Amendments) - Substitution of new
section for section 76 (44 of 1958)


Certificates of competency to be held by officers of ships

1. Every foreign-going Indian ship, every home-trade Indian ship of two hundred tons
gross or more when going to sea from any port or place in India and every ship carrying
passengers between ports or places in India shall be provided with officers duly
certificate under this Act according to the following scale, namely:

A duly certificate master

For foreign-going ship or a home-trade passenger ship of 150 tons gross or more, with at
least one officer besides the master holding a certificate not lower than that of first mate
in the case of a foreign-going ship and of mate in the case of a home-trade passenger ship

If the ship is a home-trade ship, not being a passenger ship, of four hundred and fifty tons
gross or more, with at least one officer besides the master holding a certificate not lower
than that of mate

If the ship is a foreign-going ship and carries more than one mate, then with the second
mate duly certificate.

Certificates of competency to be held by officers of ships

2. For section 76 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (hereinafter referred to as the
principal Act), the following section shall be substituted, namely:

(1) Every Indian ship, when going to sea from any port or place, shall be provided with
officers duly certificated under this Act in accordance with such manning scales as may
be prescribed:

Provided that the Central Government may prescribe different manning scales for
different types of ships.

(2) Every ship, whether at sea or in any port or place, shall engage such number of
persons and with such qualifications as may be prescribed for maintaining watches.

Power to make rules as to grant, cancellation or suspension of certificates of competency

The Central Government may make rules to carry out the provisions of this Part relating
to certificates of competency, and may, by such rules, -

(a) Prescribe the manner in which the horsepower of the engines of ships may be
calculated, and the methods by which such calculation may be made in respect of
different types of engines

(b) Provide for the conduct of the examination of persons desirous of obtaining
certificates of competency for the grades falling under section 78

(c) Prescribe the qualifications to be respectively required of persons desirous of
obtaining certificates of competency for the grades falling under section 78

(d) Fix the fees to be paid by applicants for examination

(e) Prescribe the form of such certificates and the manner in which copies of certificates
are to be kept and recorded

(f) Prescribe the circumstance or cases in which certificates of competency may be
cancelled or suspended.

Amendment of section 87

In section 87 of the principal Act, in sub-section (2), in clause (b), for the words “by a
ship”, the words “by different types of ships” shall be substituted.
Business of seamen’s employment offices

(1) It shall be the business of the seamen's employment offices:

(a) To regulate and control-
(i) The supply of such categories of seamen and for such class of ships as may be

(ii) The recruitment of persons for employment as seamen and the retirement of seamen
from such employment;

(iii) The promotion of seamen or changes of their categories;

(b) To maintain registers of seamen in respect of the categories prescribed under sub-
clause (i) of clause (a)

(c) To perform such other duties relating to seamen and merchant ships as are, from time
to time, committed to them by or under this Act.

(2) Where there is in existence at any port a seamen's employment office, then,
notwithstanding anything to the contrary contender in any other provision of this Act, no
person shall receive or accept to be entered on board any ship of the class prescribed
under sub-section (1) any seamen of the categories prescribed under that sub-section,
unless such seaman has been supplied by such seamen's employment office.

(3) The Central Government may make rules for the purpose of enabling seamen's
employment offices effectively to exercise their powers under this Act; and in particular
and, without prejudice to the generality of such power, such rules may provide for-

(a) Consultation with respect to any specified matter by seamen's employment offices
with such advisory boards or other authorities as the Central Government may think fit to
constitute or specify in this behalf;

(b) The levy and collection of such fees as may be specified for any seamen's
employment office for registering the name of any seaman in any register maintained by

(c) The issue of directions by the Central Government to any seamen's employment office
with reference to the exercise of any of its powers;

(d) The suppression of any seamen's employment office, which fails to comply with any
such direction.

Amendment of section 95

In section 95 of the principal Act,

(i) In sub-section (1), for clauses (a) and (b), the following clauses shall be substituted,
namely: -

“(a) To issue licence, to regulate and control the recruitment and placement service, and
to –

(i) Ensure that no fees or other charges for recruitment or placement of seafarers are
borne directly or indirectly or in whole or in part, by the seafarers
(ii) Ensure that adequate machinery and procedures exist for the investigation, if
necessary, of complaints concerning the activities of recruitment and placement services;

(iii) To maintain registers of seamen in respect of the categories of seamen.”

(ii) Sub-section (2) shall be omitted

(iii) In sub-section (3), for clauses (b) and (c), the following clauses shall be substituted,

“(b) The levy and collection of such fees as may be specified for the issue of licences to
recruitment and placement services, renewal of such licences and services to be rendered
by the seamen’s employment office;

(c) The issue of directions by the Central Government to any seamen’s employment
office or any recruitment and placement service with reference to the exercise of any of
its powers; “;

(ca) the conditions under which the recruitment and placement service to recruit and
place seafarers’ abroad;

(cb) circumstances and conditions under which licence to be suspended or withdrawn;

(cc) conditions under which seafarers’ personal data to be processed by the recruitment
and placement services including the collection, storage, combination and
communication of such data to third parties;”

(iv) After sub-section (3), the following Explanation shall be inserted, namely:--


For the purposes of this section:

(a) “recruitment and placement service” means any person, company, institution, agency
or other organisation, in the public or private sector, which is engaged in recruiting
seafarers on behalf of employers or placing seafarers with employers;

(b) “seafarer” means any person who fulfils the conditions to be employed or engaged in
any capacity on board a sea-going ship other than a government ship used for military or
non-commercial purposes.

97. Receipt of remuneration from seamen for shipping them prohibited. -
A person shall not demand or receive, either directly or indirectly, from any seaman, or
from any person seeking employment as a seaman, or from any person on his behalf, any
remuneration whatever for providing him with employment, other than the fees
authorized by this Act.

Substitution of new section for section 97

Receipt of remuneration, donation, fees, etc., from seamen for shipping them prohibited

For section 97 of the principal Act, the following section shall be substituted, namely:

“97. (1) A person or company or organisation including a union purporting to represent
the interests of seamen shall not demand or receive either directly or indirectly, from any
seamen or person seeking employment as seamen or any person on his behalf, any
remuneration or donation or fees or compulsory subscription of any kind attributable
from such seamen or persons’ employment as seamen, other than the fees authorised by
this Act.

(2) It shall be the duty of the company employing or proposing to employ persons as
seamen to ensure that no money has been demanded or received by any person or
company or organisation including the union purporting to represent the interests of
seamen by way of any remuneration or donation or fees or compulsory subscription of
any kind attributable to employment of such persons as seamen.”.

6. After section 97 of the principal Act, the following section shall be inserted, namely:--
Insertion of new section 97A

Prohibition against discrimination

“97A. There shall be no discrimination between seamen:

(a) on the ground of their membership or lack of membership in any particular union
purporting to represent the interests of seamen and membership in such union shall not be
pre-requisite condition;

(b) on the basis of training institute from where they obtained training or place of issue of
their continuous discharge certificates,

for their recruitment and engagement on board any ship”

Duration of certificates

(1) A safety equipment certificate, a qualified safety equipment certificate, an equipment
certificate and a qualified equipment certificate issued under this Part shall be in force for
twenty-four months from the date of its issue or for such shorter period as may be
specified in the certificate.

(2) Any certificate issued under this Part not specified in sub-section

(1) shall be in force for twelve months from the date f its issue or for such shorter period
as may be specified in the certificate.

(3) The Central Government or any person authorised by it in this behalf may grant an
extension of any certificate issued under this Part in respect of an Indian ship for a period
not exceeding one month from the date when the certificate would but for the extension

have expired, or if the ship is absent from India on that date, for a period not exceeding
five months from that date.

(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section a certificate issued under this Part
shall not remain in force after notice is given by the authority issuing the certificate to the
owner or master of the ship in respect of which it has between issued that that authority
has cancelled the certificate.

Substitution of new section for section 303

Duration of certificates

For section 303 of the principal Act, the following section shall be substituted, namely:

“303. (1) A passengers ship safety certificate, a qualified passenger ship safety certificate,
a special trade passenger ship safety certificate and a special trade passenger ship space
certificate issued under this Part shall be in force for a period of twelve months from the
date of its issue or for such shorter period as may be specified in the certificate.

(2) A cargo ship safety equipment certificate, a qualified cargo ship safety equipment
certificate, a cargo ship equipment certificate, a qualified cargo ship equipment
certificate, a cargo ship safety construction certificate, a qualified cargo ship safety
construction certificate, a cargo ship construction certificate, a qualified cargo ship
construction certificate, a cargo ship safety radio certificate, a qualified cargo ship safety
radio certificate and a cargo ship radio certificate issued under this Part shall be in force
for a period of five years from the date of its issue or for such shorter period as may be
specified in the certificate.

Chapter 2 – Documentation

Chapter 2 – Documentation


(Note: All certificates to be carried on board must be originals)

Section 1: All ships

1) International Tonnage Certificate (1969)
Tonnage Convention, article 7

2) International Load Line Certificate
LL Convention, article 16; 1988 LL Protocol, article 18

3) International Load Line Exemption Certificate
LL Convention, article 6; 1988 LL Protocol, article 18

4) Intact stability booklet
SOLAS 1974, regulations II-1/22and II-1/25-8; 1988 LL Protocol, regulation 10

5) Damage control plans and booklets
SOLAS 1974, regulations II-1/23, 23-1, 25-8;

6) Minimum safe manning document
SOLAS 1974 (2000 amendments), regulation V/14.2

7) Fire safety training manual
SOLAS 1974(2000 amendments) regulation II-2/15.2.3

8) Fire Control plan/booklet
SOLAS 1974 (2000 amendments), regulation II-2/15.2.4

9) On board training and drills record
SOLAS 1974 (2000 amendments), regulation II-2/

10) Fire safety operational booklet
SOLAS 1974 (2000 amendments), regulation II-2/16.2

11) Certificates for masters, officers or ratings
STCW 1978, article VI, regulation I/2; STCW Code, section A-I/2

12) International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate
MARPOL 73/78, Annex I, regulation 5

13) Oil Record Book
MARPOL 73/78, Annex I, regulation 20

14) Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan
MARPOL 73/78, Annex I, regulation 26

15) International Sewage Pollution Prevention Certificate
MARPOL 73/78, Annex IV, regulation 5;

16) Garbage Management Plan.
MARPOL 73/78, Annex V, regulation 9

17) Garbage Record Book
MARPOL 73/78, Annex V, regulation 9

18) Voyage data recorder system-certificate of compliance
SOLAS 1974, regulation V/18.8

19) Cargo Securing Manual
SOLAS 1974 (2002 amendments), regulations VI/5.6 andVII/5;

20) Document of Compliance
SOLAS 1974, regulation IX/4; ISM Code, paragraph 13

21) Safety Management Certificate
SOLAS 1974, regulation IX/4; ISM Code, paragraph 13

22) International Ship Security Certificate (ISSC) or Interim International Ship
Security Certificate
SOLAS 1974 (2002 amendments), regulation XI-2/9.1.1;ISPS Code part A,
section and appendices.

23) Ship Security Plan and associated records
SOLAS 1974 (2002 amendments), regulation XI-2/9; ISPS Code part A, sections
9 and 10

24) Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR)
SOLAS 1974 (2002 amendments), regulation XI-1/5

Section 2: In addition to the certificates listed in section 1 above,

1) Passenger Ship Safety Certificate
SOLAS 1974, regulation I/12, as amended by the GMDSS amendments; 1988
SOLAS Protocol, regulation I/12, (2000 amendments), appendix

2) Exemption Certificate2
SOLAS 1974, regulation I/12; 1988 SOLAS Protocol, regulation I/12

3) Special Trade Passenger Ship Safety Certificate, Special Trade Passenger
Ship Space Certificate
Search and rescue co-operation plan
SOLAS 1974 (2000 amendments),

4) List of operational limitations
SOLAS 19742000 amendments), regulation V/30

5) Decision support system for masters
SOLAS 1974, regulation III/29

Section 3: In addition to the certificates listed in section 1 above,
CARGO SHIPS shall carry

1) Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate
SOLAS 1974, regulation I/12, as amended by the GMDSS amendments; 1988
SOLAS Protocol, regulation I/12

2) Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate4
SOLAS 1974, regulation I/12,

3) Cargo Ship Safety Radio Certificate5
1988 SOLAS Protocol, regulation I/12

4) Cargo Ship Safety Certificate
1988 SOLAS Protocol, regulation I/12(2000 amendments), appendix

5) Exemption Certificate
SOLAS 1974, regulation I/12; 1988 SOLAS Protocol, regulation I/12

6) Document of authorization for the carriage of grain
SOLAS 1974, regulation VI/9; International Code for the Safe Carriage of Grain
in Bulk, section 3

7) Certificate of insurance or other financial security in respect of civil liability
for oil pollution damage
CLC 1969, article VII

8) Certificate of insurance or other financial security in respect of civil liability
for oil pollution damage
CLC 1992, article VII

9) Enhanced survey report file
SOLAS 1974 (2002 amendments), regulation XI-1/2; resolution A.744 (18)

10) Record of oil discharge monitoring and control system for the last ballast
MARPOL 73/78, Annex I, regulation 15(3) (a)

11) Cargo Information
SOLAS 1974, regulations VI/2and XII/10;

12) Bulk Carrier Booklet
SOLAS 1974, regulations VI/7 and; XII/8; Code of Practice for the Safe Loading
and Unloading of Bulk Carriers (BLU Code)

13) Dedicated Clean Ballast Tank Operation Manual
MARPOL 73/78.MARPOL 73/78, Annex I, regulation 13A

14) Crude Oil Washing Operation and Equipment Manual (COW Manual)
MARPOL 73/78.MARPOL 73/78, Annex I, regulation 13B

15) Condition Assessment Scheme (CAS) Statement of Compliance, CAS Final
Report and Review Record
MARPOL 73/78, Annex I (2001 amendments

16) Hydrostatically Balanced Loading (HBL) Operational Manual
MARPOL 73/78, Annex I (2001 amendments (resolution MEPC.95 (46)),
regulation 13G

17) Oil Discharge Monitoring and Control (ODMC) Operational Manual
MARPOL 73/78, Annex I, regulation 15(3) (c)

18) Subdivision and stability information
MARPOL 73/78, Annex I, regulation 25

Section 4: In addition to the certificates listed in sections 1 and 3 above,
where appropriate, any SHIP CARRYING NOXIOUS LIQUID

1) International Pollution Prevention Certificate for the Carriage of Noxious
Liquid Substances in Bulk (NLS Certificate)
MARPOL 73/78, Annex II, regulations 11 and 12A

2) Cargo record book
MARPOL 73/78, Annex II, regulation 9

3) Procedures and Arrangements Manual (P & A Manual)
MARPOL 73/78, Annex II, regulations 5, 5A and 8

4) Shipboard Marine Pollution Emergency Plan for Noxious Liquid Substances
MARPOL 73/78, Annex II, regulation 16

Section 5: In addition to the certificates listed in sections 1 and 3 above,
where applicable, any CHEMICAL TANKER shall carry

1) Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk
Note: The Code is mandatory under Annex II of MARPOL 73/78 for chemical
tankers constructed before 1 July 1986
BCH Code, section 1.6; BCH Code as modified by resolution MSC.18 (58),
section 1.6

2) International Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Dangerous Chemicals
in Bulk
Note: The Code is mandatory under both Chapter VII of SOLAS 1974 and Annex
II of MARPOL 73/78 for chemical tankers constructed on or after 1 July 1986.
IBC Code, section 1.5; IBC Code as modified by resolutions MSC.16 (58) and
MEPC.40 (29), section 1.5

Section 6: In addition to the certificates listed in sections 1 and 3 above,
where applicable, any GAS CARRIER shall carry

1) Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Liquefied Gases in Bulk
GC Code, section 1.6

2) International Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Liquefied Gases in
Note: The Code is mandatory under chapter VII of SOLAS1974 for gas carriers
constructed on or after 1 July1986.IGC Code, section 1.5; IGC Code as modified
by resolution MSC.17 (58), section 1.5

Section 7: In addition to the certificates listed in sections 1, and 2 or 3
above, where applicable, any SHIP CARRYING DANGEROUS
GOODS shall carry

1) Document of compliance with the special requirements for ships carrying
dangerous goods
SOLAS 1974, (2000 amendments), regulation II-2/19.4

Section 8: In addition to the certificates listed in sections 1, and 2 or 3
above, where applicable, any SHIP CARRYING DANGEROUS

1) Dangerous goods manifest or stowage plan
SOLAS 1974, (2002 amendments), regulations VII/4.5 andVII/7-2; MARPOL
73/78, Annex III, regulation 4

Section 9: In addition to the certificates listed in sections 1, and 2 or 3
above, where applicable, any SHIP CARRYING INF CARGO shall

1) International Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of INF Cargo
SOLAS 1974, regulation VII/16; INF Code

Section 10: Other certificates and documents, which are NOT

Special purpose ships

1) Special Purpose Ship Safety Certificate
SOLAS 1974, regulation I/12; 1988 SOLAS Protocol, regulation I/12

Chapter 3 – Custom House

Chapter –3 Custom House Procedures



Free pratique:

Port health clearance procedures are regulated under the International health regulation.
Ships on being declared a healthy ship to can proceed to berth after getting free pratique.
The declaration of a free pratique being granted by either informing the port by radio or
by hoisting the ‘Q’ flag.

A ship is not declared to be healthy due to any of the following reasons:

Death of persons onboard
Illness on board
Suffering an infectious disease
Circumstances causing spread of disease
Animals on board – death or sickness amongst them
Such occurrences occurred on board last 28 days

In such a case, the ship should inform port control 12 hrs prior arrival or 4 hrs prior
E.T.A., if not possible then on arrival.

Arrival procedure (documents)

International health regulations – WHO
International health organisation regulates port health procedures. Most countries
implement these in national regulations.
Health clearance is called a free pratique. It literally means permission to
disembark and commence cargo operations. Health clearance is required if there
has been on board during the previous 28 days any of the occurrences which the
master is required to report.
If no such occurrences are there then the Port health officer will generally give
free pratique.
Also under this regulation every ship must carry a de-ratting or de-ratting
exemption certificate as appropriate.
These certificates are issued by the port health authority and are valid for 6

A de-ratting certificate states that any ship must either be:

Periodically kept free of rodents or
Periodically de-ratted

A de-ratting certificate is issued when de-ratting is satisfactorily
If a ship is found free of rodents then a de-ratting exemption
certificate is issued. It will only be issued if the holds are empty or
containing only ballast or material, which is unattractive to
rodents. Also the inspector should have free access to the holds
It may be issued to a tanker while loaded.

Furthermore, a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever is the only other certificate
now required under these regulations for international travel, especially for African
countries. Every seafarer should have this international vaccination certificate for yellow

With regard to conforming to the health regulations:

• Master to complete maritime declaration of health form.
• Master to have de-ratting or de-ratting exemption certificate.

General declaration

Name and description of ship
Nationality of ship
Particulars regarding registry
Name of master
Name and address of ship’s agent
Brief description of the cargo
Number of crew
Number of passengers
Brief particulars of voyage
Date and time of arrival, or date of departure
Port of arrival or departure. Position of the ship in port

Documents required on arrival:

5 copies of general declaration
4 copies of cargo declaration
4 copies of ship’s store declaration
2 copies of crew’s effect declaration
4 copies of the crew list
4 copies of the passengers list
1 copy of the maritime declaration of health
Port clearance from Last Port
Declaration of security measures as per ISPS requirements

Cargo declaration

On arrival:

• Name and nationality of the ship
• Name of the master
• Port arrived from
• Port where report is made
• Marks and numbers: number and kind of packages: quality and description of the
• Bill of lading numbers for cargo to be discharged at the port in question
• Ports at which cargo remaining on board will be discharged
• Original ports of shipment in respect of goods shipped on through bills of lading

On departure

Name and nationality of the ship
Name of master
Port of destination
In respect of goods loaded at the port in question; marks and numbers; number
and kind of packages; quantity and description of the goods
Bill of lading numbers for cargo loaded at the port in question
Minimum essential information is required
To be signed by master or agent
Cargo manifest is accepted in lieu of cargo declaration provided it contains all the
Details of the cargo in transit

Ship’s store declaration

• Relate to ship’s store
• Signed by master

Crew’s effect declaration

• Each crew member to signed against his effects declaration
• To be signed by the master
• Not require on departure

Crew list:

• To know the number and composition of the crew on arrival and departure
• Name and nationality of the ship
• Family name
• Given names

• Nationality
• Rank or rating
• Date of place of birth
• Nature and number of identity document
• Port and date of arrival
• Arriving from.

Passengers list:

Required to know the information of passengers on arrival and departure of a ship
Not required in case of short sea route or combined ship/rail service neighbouring
Normally the companies have their own list of passengers in place of passengers
Not require embarkation or Disembarkation Card in addition to passengers list
provide not a danger of spread of the disease
Name and nationality of the ship
Family name
Given names
Date of birth
Place of birth
Port of embarkation
Port of disembarkation
Port and date of arrival of the ship

Documents required under universal postal convention for mail

Not required by the public auth. Other than prescribed in universal postal
Maritime declaration of health
Provides information required by port health authorities relate to the state of
health on board ship during the voyage and on arrival at a port

Documents required on departure:

5 copies of general declaration
4 copies of cargo declaration
3 copies of ship’s store declaration
2 copies of the crew list
2 copies of the passengers list

Customs House Procedures – Various Responsibilities

Customs Administration – Responsible for Collection of Revenue


HOME TRADE: Trade within a country – buying and selling of goods by individual of

FOREIGN TRADE: Trade between countries.


IMPORT – bringing goods from abroad to home country

EXPORT – sending goods to external country

Import and export are further divided into visible and invisible items.

VISIBLE ITEMS – foodstuffs, raw material etc.

INVISIBLE ITEMS: various services like earnings from shipping, air transport charges,
banking and insurance charges, brokerage dues, royalties, interest on investments abroad

ISPS implication to Port Clearance

With the advent of ISPS Code, the responsibility on the Master has substantially
increased. As part of complying with the Code on board, the Master is to send at least 96
hrs notice ‘Notice of vessel’s arrival’ (NVA) to the ‘National vessel movement centre’
(NVMC). The notice is to be as per the prescribed format which should have the last 10
ports called, their arrival and departure dates, Security level on board vessel etc. The
PFSO will visit the vessel to check ISPS certificate and security level prior issuance of
clearance certificate. At times the port agent may be able to obtain the clearance
certificate from the PFSO on behalf of the vessel.

Chapter 4 – Stowaways, Piracy,
Smuggling and other Custom Offences

Chapter 4 – Stowaways, Piracy, Smuggling and other Custom Offences

Definition: A person who, at any port or place secretes himself in a ship without the
consent of the ship owner or master or any other person in charge of ship and who is
onboard after that ship has left that port or place.

Stowaways: A View from the Bridge

The problem of stowaways is an ancient one. During more recent times stowaways have
been regarded as an expensive nuisance primarily encountered by ships operating in the
third world. Due to rapidly changing economic and political conditions stowaways have
become a problem to ships in all the world's trades, especially Europe's. Traditionally
perceived as a shipboard responsibility, stowaways are now seen as a problem requiring
the combined efforts of the terminals, company management, and the ship.

Companies must set up procedures and guidelines for dealing with stowaways. Also, in
each foreign port, security guards should be hired with at least one guard being fluent in
English. Companies should also arrange to have all empty containers checked and sealed,
or opened and visually checked just prior to loading.

The ship's captain must ensure a proper gangway watch is maintained at all times. Prior
to port entry all spaces not to be used during cargo operations should be locked and
sealed. The crew should be instructed to be aware of anyone suspicious and to report it to
the mate or the crewman on watch. As an added precaution, the ship's master should
conduct a complete stowaway search at the completion of cargo operations and prior to
letting go.

Terminal cooperation and awareness is essential. First and foremost the terminal must
insure that adequate port security measures are in place. One of the most helpful
measures a terminal can institute is to require passes for both crew and all shore side
workers entering or leaving the terminal. In addition to controlling entry to the port,
terminal personnel must minimize persons wandering, particularly in the vicinity of
empty containers and other cargo in which potential stowaways could conceal
themselves. The terminal should also inform the entering ships of recent and present
stowaway problems.

Despite the best coordinated efforts of the ship, terminal, and steamship company
management, determined individuals will occasionally succeed in stowing away. If upon
departure form a port, you have reason to believe you have stowaways on board; caution
must be used in locating the stowaways. As the stowaways are rounded up, take them to a
central location and isolate them and interrogate them. Once the initial information has
been gathered you will want to call your company and agent. The agent, working with the
company, should make every effort to expedite the removal of the stowaways from the

Stowaways present numerous headaches, delays, and are very expensive. The company
must bear all expenses of repatriation. Ship's officers may face termination if it is felt
they have failed to exercise due diligence. Lest anyone regard this as a trivial matter, one
American flag liner company estimated the cost of handling five European stowaways to
be in the neighbourhood of $100,000 US dollars.

The Prevention and Care of Stowaways

Recent media coverage of the trials of seamen accused of brutal treatment and murder of
stowaways has brought their plight to the world's attention, but the problem has been
growing steadily for many years. The proliferation of satellite dishes in impoverished
countries showing the good life in America, combined with population pressure,
collapsing economies, and political repression, has sparked a dramatic increase in
stowaway activity, and some panicky responses from shipmaster and crew.

Few people in America realize that income received from relatives in the United States
constitutes the single largest contribution to the national income of several nations,
including Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

One alarming trend has been the increase in the number of stowaways on a given vessel.
Traditionally the stowaway was a lonely, desperate man, but now groups--including
women and children-- are being found. This trend reflects the fact that stowing away on a
merchant vessel is usually a group effort resulting from shared know-how, bribery,
collusion, and hard work. The advance guards of the stowaways are the prostitutes,
stevedores, guards, chandlers, customs official and fake-jewellery salesmen who flock

The master of a vessel trading in high-risk countries, such as Haiti, The Dominican
Republic (the worst), Colombia, or Nicaragua must hold training sessions for the officers
and crew regarding non-crew members in unauthorized areas, the securing of hatches, the
maintenance of effective look-outs, the use of disinformation to discourage stowaways,
and proper stowaway search procedures before departure.

Other techniques for preventing or flushing out stowaways include wireless alarms
sounding in the master's stateroom when certain hatches or doors are opened, the use of
Spanish-language placards warning that certain compartments contain poisonous gases,
and the use of tear gas to flush out stowaways.

One aspect of the stowaway problem that has eluded the media is the reality that many
stowaways are criminals in their countries, fleeing legitimate prosecution, and many
others exhibit the violence of desperation. The vessel trading high-risk countries should
maintain a brig onboard to hold stowaways, and the handling of apprehended stowaways
should be rigidly supervised and recorded.

The greatest threat from stowaways is not their physical presence, but the grievous
consequences of their presence. Fines, delays, emotional stress, and even criminal

charges against the crew for mistreating stowaways face ship owners who do not
implement an effective plan to prevent stowaways from coming onboard and to care for
the ones that do.

Preparedness to Deal with Stowaways: Security Contingency Plans

The principle of 'building block' will be used, covering subjects individually, which when
taken as a whole, will produce a complete plan.

Specific Subject Areas:

1. INITIAL RISK ASSESSMENT - The stages and thinking involved in the conduct of
an initial detailed risk assessment

2. THE LEGAL SITUATION - Covering in outline the requirement to consider the
impact of any security measures on the local laws and the legal implications.

3. SECURITY SURVEY - The next stage is a detailed survey using the findings of the
Risk Assessment as its baseline. This will include the conduct of a survey, the subject
areas covered and the preparation of a report, including conclusions and

building layers of protection is the fundamental feature of a totally integrated system and
that this principle can equally be applied to cargo and passenger handling facilities.

Detailing the absolute requirements for the use of visible perimeter fences, boundaries
and the correct designation of the areas to be protected, using control of access and
designated Restricted Areas.

6. CONTROL OF ACCESS - Covering the need for the control of access to facilities and
specific areas and how these controls can be efficiently and sensibly implemented,
without disrupting the commercial function of the vessel.

7. TECHNICAL MEASURES - The use of technical measures in support of the
protection of the vessel.

8. SECURITY PERSONNEL - The selection, recruitment, training and utilization of

9. IDENTIFICATION - The identification of employees and visitors covering cargo and
non-cargo facilities.

contents of a comprehensive plan covering the aspects mentioned above and incident

How to prevent:

Tighter port security and greater vigilance by ship.
By port authorities:
Restrict to few people who have access to ships
Steps to prevent stowaway hiding inside container.
Some port uses sniffer dogs and human occupancy detector (inside container), so
no need to break container seal.

Human occupancy detector:

Is an infrared detector, which measures level of co
in an air sample, drawn from
container, level of co
increases with occupancy?

On board:

a) Minimum or only one access to ship and effective gangway watch maintained all
the times
b) Person with identity should always be checked and unauthorized persons refused
c) Gangway to be raised during period of non use
d) All store rooms, mast houses, entrance to accommodation (except only one
entrance to accommodation) should be locked in accordance with fire and safety
e) Cargo work if not 24 hrs, access to hold should be checked at end of each
working periods, hatches closed, all accesses to cargo holds locked
f) Maintained deck watch all the times in port and anchorage especially stowaway is
a problem
g) At port/anchorage in night:
h) Well lit deck and over-side area
i) Check mooring ropes and anchor cable regularly to deter stowaway to gain access
j) With reduced manning difficult to maintain 24 hrs watch, master to employ shore
k) Shore watchmen from reputed company and arranged by ship’s agent and P& I
l) Master to display incorrect information on sailing board

Additional expenses for shore watchmen and human occupancy detector are not
covered by P & I club.

Charterer responsibility:

To exercise due care and diligence in preventing stowaway gaining access to v/l by
means of secreting himself in goods or container shipped by charterer.

If stowaway is found thru container or goods, this will constitute a breach of charter, for
which he shall be liable and holds s/o harmless and indemnify against all claims, which
may arise and made against them.

Stowaway searches:

1. To carry out immediately prior departure
2. As per company instructions
3. Subdivide v/l into several area e.g. accommodation, engine room, main deck and
Cargo compartments and delegate responsibility for searching area to specified
crew members
4. Each area should be searched systematically and simultaneously, (cargo holds,
Containers, store rooms, funnel casings, chain lockers, cabins, crane cab, mast
houses, e/r bilges etc.)
5. Checklist to be used for such searches
6. If stowaway found, immigration authorities to be advised in order to remove from
7. River passage area prior disembarking pilot or if waiting for port clearance at
anchorage carry out second search
8. Make necessary arrangements to get rid of stowaway after discovered

Log book entries:

• Details of watch security arrangements at port
• Time, date and outcome of stowaway searches conducted by crew as per company

Discovered stowaway on board:

Follow company guidelines
Establish where more stowaway onboard
Notify ship-owner and agent at next port of call
Establish identity of each stowaway
Establish documents stowaway has in his/her possession
Humanitarian obligation to provide maintenance e.g. food, water, sleeping
accommodation, washing and toilet facility
Not an easy situation onboard, as a physical danger to crew or infectious disease
No matter whatever the situation to be treated humanely

A case study shows that three stowaway found onboard and been thrown
overboard, two of them swim ashore safety and one drowned
After legal proceeding master and chief officer were given life sentences and
other crew were jailed up to 20 years

If more than one stowaway - keep them separate.

Also establish following:

o Full name
o Nationality
o Postal and residential permanent or last address
o Date and place of birth
o Name, date and place of birth of either or both parents or other next of kin
including their postal and residential address
o Details of any document found in stowaway’s possession, such as passport, CDC
or identity card
o Stowaway not be socialize and become friendly with crew
o Never allow stowaway to escape in port as ship's officer(s) may be fined by
o Do not allow stowaway on work
o Proper logbook entries made for the period of stay of stowaway

IMO guidelines on Stowaways

An international convention relating to stowaways was adopted in Brussels in 1957, but
it has not yet entered into force and is unlikely to do so.

In recent years, however, the problem of stowaways has increased and it is generally
recognized that there is an urgent need for international agreement on the allocation of
responsibilities to enable the successful resolution of cases involving stowaways.

In 2000, IMO Facilitation Committee agreed at its 28th session (30 October – 3
November 2000) to include formalities for dealing with stowaways in the Convention on
Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention), and these were adopted
in January 2002, with entry into force expected to be on 1 May 2003.

The FAL Convention - which was adopted in 1965 to prevent unnecessary delays in
maritime traffic, to aid co-operation between Governments, and to secure the highest
practicable degree of uniformity in formalities and other procedures.

Amendments to the FAL Convention to incorporate standards and recommended
practices on dealing with stowaways were adopted in January 2002, with expected entry
into force in 2003.

In the FAL Convention, standards are internationally agreed measures, which are
"necessary and practicable in order to facilitate international maritime traffic" and
recommended practices as measures the application of which is "desirable".

The standards and recommended practices for stowaways reflect the Guidelines on the
Allocation of Responsibilities to Seek the Successful Resolution of Stowaway Cases
(Resolution A.871 (20)), adopted in 1997, which established basic principles to be
applied in dealing with stowaways.
The guidelines in the resolution state that the resolution of stowaway cases is difficult
because of different national legislation in the various countries involved. Nevertheless,
some basic principles can be applied generally.

Stowaways entering a country without the required documents are, in general, illegal
immigrants, and decisions on how to deal with such situations are the prerogative of the
countries concerned. Stowaway asylum seekers should be treated in compliance with
international protection principles set out in relevant treaties.

The guidelines advocate close co-operation between ship-owners and port authorities.
Where national legislation permits, national authorities should consider prosecuting
stowaways concerning any damage caused. Countries should permit the return of
stowaways who are identified as being their citizens or who have a right of residence,
while the country where a stowaway originally embarked should normally accept his or
her return pending final case disposition.

The guidelines say that every effort should be made to avoid situations where a stowaway
has to be detained on board a ship indefinitely.

The guidelines then go on to establish in greater detail the responsibilities of the master,
of the ship-owner or operator, of the country of the first scheduled port of call after the
discovery of the stowaway (the port of disembarkation), of the country where the
stowaway first boarded the ship, of the stowaway's apparent or claimed country of
nationality, of the flag State of the vessel, and of any countries of transit during

The Assembly resolution refers to the difficulties encountered by masters and owners in
disembarking stowaways from ships. It emphasizes the need for co-operation and states
that "in normal circumstances, through such co-operation stowaways should, as soon as
practicable, be removed from the ship and returned to the country of nationality-
citizenship or to the port of embarkation, or to any other country which would accept the

The resolution also requested the Facilitation Committee to monitor the effectiveness of
the Guidelines; to keep them under review; and to take such further action, including the
development of a binding instrument, as may be considered necessary.

In 1998, the Facilitation Committee issued a Circular (FAL.2/Circ.50, revised in 1999 by
FAL.2/Circ.50.Rev.1) inviting IMO Member Governments and international
organizations in consultative status to provide the Organization with information on
stowaway incidents. IMO now issues quarterly reports on stowaway incidents.

Maritime Crime: Who is affected?

There are no simple solutions to dealing with any form of crime and maritime crime is no
exception. There are however a number of things that can be done to make responses
more effective. The commercial sector has for too long been prepared to either play-down
the scale of maritime crime or to insist that it is primarily a policing issue. If, however,
maritime crime is to be tackled effectively then it needs to be tackled not only by the
police but by those with a vested interest in protecting their own assets.

But as a starting point it is necessary to document the scale of maritime crime, precisely
who is affected and in what circumstances remains a largely un-researched problem. Yet,
without understanding the problem how can it be possible to produce effective solutions?

Research findings in the past suggest that not all ship owners are at equal risk and that
different types of security measures are appropriate for different types of problems. But a
striking finding has been that all too often security is viewed negatively, and many
security ideas, which are applied, to vessels have failed to take account or have
misunderstood altogether the culture of the maritime community.

Maritime crime must be researched, analysed, solutions identified, packaged,
implemented and evaluated if a response is to be effective. What is required is an
approach that combines both research and application.

Maritime Security - A Joint Responsibility

Threats to Shipping from Illicit Boarding

• Terrorism and Hijacking for political reasons
• Piracy / Armed Robbery
• Drug Trafficking and other smuggling offences
• Petty theft and opportunity crime
• Stowaways and Illegal Immigrants

Common Solution

Restrict / control access to the port / cargo / vessel


Maritime carriers on their own can only do so much. Port authorities are involved.
Governments are involved.

What can Maritime Carriers Do?

• Contingency planning
• Allocation of security responsibility - operator / vessel
• Awareness of threats
• Give guidance - (e.g.: industry guides on drugs and piracy - company guidance)

What can Ports Do?

• Increase port security and not rely solely on the vessel protecting its perimeter

What can Governments Do?

• Terrorism and Hijacking for political reasons - Acknowledgement and
promulgation of threat, increase port security where there is a threat
• Piracy / Armed robbery - increase port security, reporting and response
arrangements, determined action to eradicate the problem nationally,
acknowledgement of the problem through IMO, awareness of the issue in fighting
navies, cooperative arrangements with littoral states when navy vessels transit
high threat areas in either international or territorial waters
• Drug Trafficking and other smuggling offences - enter into cooperative
arrangements with port users, including shipping companies, through the
Memoranda of Understanding arrangements promulgated by the World Customs
Organization, improve reporting arrangements, issue guidance and contact points
for ship masters
• Petty Theft and other opportunity crime - acknowledgement of the threat,
increased port security afloat, encourage reporting, provide guidance and
• Stowaways and Illegal Immigrants - in respect of stowaways - reference to IMO
Guidelines, reporting systems

National/Regional/International Action from Governments

Identification of common concerns
Cooperative actions through bilateral, multilateral actions and/or International
Conventions on issues where appropriate. Flag state information and guidance provision

Other Threats

Embargo operations - need for information and realistic requirements, seek cooperation
Attacks from armed forces on innocent merchant vessels

Governments could do a lot more to assist the maritime industry in combating maritime
crime and threats to vessels from various sources.

Maritime Piracy: A Growing Threat in the Post-Cold War World

There have always been pirates. In today's world we have thought of pirates as relics of
the past, not likely to be encountered on the high seas or in territorial waters. But they are
back. The Cold War is gone but not the threat to ships at sea. Today's ships, with their
high-value cargos and small crews to man the ships that carry them, are highly vulnerable
to criminal predators in high-speed boats, armed with modern assault weapons, and
operating in sea lanes that international carriers must traverse. Pirates are thus able to
make surprise attacks on unarmed merchantmen and get away with money and loot.

Today's piracy is more than a nuisance to commercial shipping. We asses it to be a
strategic threat for several reasons: it affects maritime traffic in vital shipping lanes,
particularly in Southeast Asia; attacks on oil super tankers hold the potential to ignite
environmental disasters; attacks by pirate craft may invite military reprisals; and there is
a continuing problem off the coast of China with what amounts to state-sponsored piracy
by some official Chinese craft. At the present time, the nations most affected by piracy
have chosen a low-key response, emphasizing police work, intelligence sharing, and
some maritime patrols, leaving much of the responsibility for deterring and combating
pirates to individual shippers. Naval escorts or more aggressive military patrols would be
a major set up. However, in light of the recent increase in pirate attacks, which almost
doubled from 1994 to 1995, the nations most affected by piracy may be compelled to
reconsider the kinds of actions that are needed to combat this growing threat and assure
the safety of vital international commercial shipping.

Chapter 5 – Master - Pilot

Chapter- 5 Master-Pilot Relationship


Why are pilot engaged?

The command working group of the Nautical Institute identified the following as some of
the reasons why pilots are engaged and observed that the order of priority depends upon
circumstances. They may be divided into pure Pilotage, liaison, ship handling, and bridge

For their ability to anticipate accurately the effects of currents and tidal influences
For their expertise in navigating in close proximity to land and in narrow channels
For their understanding of local traffic
For their ability to work effectively with the local VTS
For their language ability when dealing with shore services
For their expertise in handling tugs and linesmen
To support the master and to relieve fatigue
To provide an extra person or persons on the bridge to assist with navigating the

The question as to whether or not a pilot’s primary role is to Improve safety is difficult to
answer since there are no a shipmaster may be more cautious. Without a pilot the
shipmaster may be more prone to make an error of judgement at a critical point of
approach. The feeling of the group was that the influence of a pilot on board improves
both the safety and efficiency of the operation.

Duty of the Master and Crew during Pilotage

The master of a ship must amongst other thing ensure the safety of the ship, of all on
board and of all who are threatened in any way by the proximity or operations of other
ships. In the execution of his duties, he is entitled to the full co-operation and assistance
from his officers and other members of his crew. All on board must go about their tasks
in accordance with those ordinary practices of seamen that have been tried and tested
over a long period of time i.e. the well understood standards of seamanship that safeguard
against accident or error. It is the master’s responsibility to ensure that the crew support
the pilot in his duties and the master may delegate the authority for this to the officer of
the watch or other appropriate officers.

It is the responsibility of the master, officers and other members of the crew to pass on all
relevant information, including defects and peculiarities, to the pilot and to keep a proper
lookout. The duty has been interpreted by the courts to include the duty to report all
material circumstances and facts which might influence the pilot’s actions, even if the
pilot is in a position where he ought to be able to see things clearly for himself.

Where, in the master’s opinion, the situation developing is obviously dangerous, it is his
duty to draw the pilot’s attention to the risk and, if necessary in his judgment, take over
the conduct of the vessel. The master is not justified in doing nothing.

The duty in of the pilot is to direct the navigation of the ship, and to conduct it so far as
the course of the ship is concerned. He has no other power on board. The common law
relationship between master and pilot is such that, when the latter is legally responsible
for his own actions and the is restricted to circumstances where there is clear evidence of
the pilot’s incurring his own liability, is restricted to circumstances where incurring his
own liability, is restricted to circumstances where there is clear evidence of the pilot’s
inability or incompetence.

The legal position of the pilot on board a vessel is aptly summarised by the Canadian
Royal Commission on Pilotage, Ottawa 1968, as follow:

“To conduct a ship” must not be confused with being in command of a ship’.

The first expression refers to action, to a personal service being performed; the second to
power. The question whether a pilot has control of navigation is a question of fact and not
of law. The fact that a pilot has been given control of the ship for navigational purposes
does not mean that the pilot has superseded the master. The master is, and remains, in
command; he is the authority to subordinates and to outside, delegate part of his authority
to subordinates and to outside assistants whom he employs to navigate his ship i.e. pilots.
A delegation of power is not an abandonment of authority, but one way of exercising

However, laws of most foreign countries provide that a pilot whose employment is
compulsory is not regarded as having control of navigation of ship, but has his duties
restricted to advising the master of local conditions affecting safe navigation.
Voluntary and Compulsory Pilots

The pilot must, of course, possess many of the mariner’s skills including knowledge of
the Rules of the Road, navigation, and the use of all forms of navigation equipment. A
clear distinction must be made between voluntary and compulsory pilots.

A voluntary pilot is one engaged for the convenience of the vessel. A North Sea pilot
employed to take a ship between the Rotterdam and Bremerhaven sea buys would be one
example of a voluntary pilot. No statue requires a ship to have a pilot aboard but the
master or owner hires the pilot to aid in making the passage expeditiously.

The owner, through the master, has great control over the voluntary pilot. The pilot need
not be hired in the first place, or the pilot’s services can be rejected during the passage
and the vessel continues to her destination. The voluntary pilot is in a significantly
different position aboard ship than the compulsory pilot, practically speaking the master
can feel much freer to advise or relieve a voluntary pilot the voluntary pilot is in much
the same position as the ship’s mates.

A compulsory pilot, on the other hand, is one that is required by law to be aboard while
the ship is navigating certain specified areas. Penalties such as fines or imprisonment, or
both, are the hallmarks of compulsory Pilotage laws. If a ship is allowed by hallmarks of
compulsory services of a pilot provided she pays a portion of the Pilotage fee and the
Pilotage is not compulsory.

The relationship between master and compulsory pilot is in many ways unique in that it is
usually defined by custom, practice, and statute rather than contract. While the pilot is
generally neither an employee of the ship nor a member of her crew, he is ultimately
subordinate to the member of her crew, he is ultimately subordinate to the master,
although the degree of subordination is less than popularly perceived. The public and the
industry benefit equally from this working arrangement and from the degree of
overlapping responsibility that compels both pilot and master to be concerned about a
vessel’s safety.

The compulsory pilot is not aboard in a purely advisory capacity. That pilot is in charge
of the navigation of the ship while aboard and the ship’s crew is required to obey the
compulsory pilot’s orders relating to navigation unless the master determines it is
necessary to intercede for reasons yet to be discussed. A compulsory pilot is responsible
for his own actions and receives a significant fee because of this responsibility. In the
presence of the compulsory pilot, a master’s responsibility is not total and forever. Both
master and pilot have a job to do and bear an unusual degree of responsibility not only to
the vessel, cargo, and crew, but also the public.

An exception is found to the traditional master/ pilot relationship at the Panama Canal.
The Panama Canal Commission accepts a greater degree of liability in exchange for
greater control of ship’s navigation in that strategic waterway. Inside the locks of the
Panama Canal, Commission is liable for payment for injuries to the vessel, cargo, crew,
or passengers arising out of a passage through unless the Commission shows that the
injury was caused by a negligent act of the vessel. Outside the locks the Commission
passengers when such injuries are proximately caused by the negligence or fault of a
Canal Commission employee… provided that in the case of a ship required to have a
Panama Canal pilot on duty on duty. Damages are only payable if at the time of injury the
navigation was under the control of the Panama Canal pilot.

Shipmasters should be aware of the manner in which the traditional master/ pilot
relationship is distorted in the special circumstance.


...Perhaps attitudes must change. Things have come a long way in this industry, but
cooperation is still lacking between bridge officers, masters and pilots. --- A master

Some masters just want to be masters, smirk at advice, and treat you as an intruder. --- A

In compulsory Pilotage waters, pilots provide local knowledge of the navigation
conditions prevailing in the area. The pilot is responsible to the master solely for the safe
navigation of the vessel. The master retains overall responsibility for the safety of the
vessel but relies on the pilot's local knowledge and ability to handle the vessel in a safe
and efficient manner. Cooperation between pilot and master is essential.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), in a recommendation describes a
navigational watch with a pilot on board as follows:

Despite the duties and obligations of a pilot, his presence on board does not relieve the
master or officer in charge of the watch from their duties and obligations for the safety of
the ship. The master and the pilot shall exchange information regarding navigation
procedures, local conditions and the ship's characteristics. The master and officer of the
watch shall co-operate closely with the pilot and maintain an accurate check of the ship's
position and movement.

Navigating a vessel safely requires teamwork and interpersonal communications and this
is particularly true in compulsory Pilotage waters when a pilot is on board. There are
about three particular elements of the operational relationship between pilots and bridge
officers, namely:

The sharing of information such as passage plans and the vessel's condition, and
the factors affecting communication
The monitoring of the vessel's movements by the master and/or OOW while she is
The conduct of a pilot; and
The attitudes and behaviour on the bridge relating to teamwork

The Nautical Institute of the UK, in its guide to Bridge Team Management, states that:

Ideally, the Master and his team will be aware of the pilot's intentions and be in a
position to be able to query his actions at any stage of the passage. This can only be
brought about by:

The bridge team being aware of the difficulties and constraints of the Pilotage
The pilot being aware of the characteristics and peculiarities of the ship
The pilot being made familiar with the equipment at his disposal and aware of the
degree of support he can expect from the ship's personnel.

The International Chamber of Shipping, in its publication Bridge Procedures Guide,
recommends the following checklist to ensure an information exchange between master
and pilot:

Has a completed pilot card been handed to the pilot?

Has the pilot been informed of the location of lifesaving appliances provided for
his use?
Have the proposed passage plan, weather conditions, berthing arrangements, use
of tugs and other external facilities been explained by the pilot and agreed with
the master?
Are the progress of the ship and the execution of orders being monitored by the
master and the officer of the watch?

One Canadian pilot has summed up the requirement for an exchange of technical
information as follows:

Pilots should be informed of each significant factor, which may affect his proposed
manoeuvring plan. Vessel manoeuvring characteristics should be shown to the pilot and
he should ensure he understands any special conditions, which may affect him. He should
always know who the senior officer of the bridge party is, including the master and be
aware of watch changes, quartermaster changes etc. Similarly the pilot must inform the
master of his intended manoeuvring plan and update this as necessary with any change in
conditions. Local regulations and communications requirements should be relayed to the
master and officer of the watch.

The Master’s Responsibilities in Pilotage Waters

The master retains overall responsibility for the vessel and her operation, for having a
competent watch on duty and seeing that they perform their work efficiently, for being
sure a proper lookout is maintained, and for compliance with all regulations and statues
including the Rule of the Road (COLREGS). The master’s authority is never completely
in abeyance even while a pilot (compulsory or not) has immediate charge of the ship’s
navigation. The master is also responsible for his own professional competency,
including having sufficient knowledge and experience to be able to judge the pilot’ s
performance and recognize significant pilot error, and to have studied and the local
waters and be able to recognize known and published dangers.

The master has a duty to advise or relieve a pilot in cases of:
• Intoxication
• Gross incompetence to perform the task at hand
• When the vessel is standing into danger that is not obvious to the pilot
• When the pilot’s actions are in error due to a lack of appreciation of particular
circumstances, including the limitations of the particular ship being handled

In carrying out these responsibility the master may either advise or relieve the pilot, at the
master’s discretion, in practice, there is a real burden upon the master to justify relieving
the pilot should some casualty result so the action of relieving must not be arbitrary, there
are several ways to do a job and, while admittedly some are more expeditious than others,
the master must not relieve the pilot simply should only be relieved when the master
feels, based upon professional experience and training, that the vessel, crew, or cargo is
being placed in real and imminent danger because of that pilot’ s present course of action.

On the other hand, the master is negligent if action is not taken when required. The
master first objects to an action, then recommends an alternative and only in the rare case
when the pilot refuses to accept a recommendation does the master relieve a pilot in a
timely manner – while it is still possible to avoid an accident.

The decision about when to become involved is more difficult than the absolute problem
of whether it is necessary to do so. There is a natural reluctance to act because of the
ramifications in case of a casualty, yet the question of the timing is most critical, Relief
usually occurs when it is too late- when the situation has deteriorated so far that even the
most competent ship handler could not correct matters and the master’s efforts then only
complicate an already bad situation. There is no equipment that a ship be in extremis
before the pilot is relieved, only that the master foresees danger should a present course
of action continue.

It is imperative that the master be sufficiently skilled in ship handling to recognize a
problem early, and have sufficient confidence in those skills to take prompt and decisive
action if it is necessary to relieve a pilot. The correctness of action taken reflects the
training and experience that a master has had and it is too late to compensate for years of
neglect in this area at such a time. The decision to relieve a pilot is not an easy one, but a
master who instead stands by as the vessel heads for certain catastrophe remains a
responsibility party ad must take action. It is a judgment that can only be made based on
professional experience and is but one example of why the title “shipmaster” bears a
connotation of unusual responsibility.

Release from liability forms

Occasionally a master is presented with a form to be signed releasing the pilot from
liability. These forms may be based on local practice or special circumstances such as a
tugboat strike. The validity of these forms in a particular case is questionable and
depends on local laws and regulations of which the master cannot reasonably be expected
to have knowledge.

In as much as the master may be under pressure not to delay the vessel, and may not be
able to consult with anyone about the advisability of signature that the release is “Signed
under protest so that the vessel may proceed.” An entry to that effect should be made in
the ship’s log. Forward a copy of the release to the owners so they can advise you about
signing such documents in the future.

In any case, the form will have no immediate practical effect since the master has
ultimate responsibility for the ship in any case, and the document in no way alters the
master’s conduct during the docking or other working at hand.

What are the elements of an effective Master – Pilot relationship?


Most foreign ships that I go on board totally rely on the pilot for the safe passage of the
vessel and also the docking and do not question what is taking place either relating to
speed or steering. --- A pilot

Most marine organizations around the world recognize the importance of
communications among members of the bridge team, including those times when a pilot
is on board.

The importance of establishing positive communication when a pilot comes on board is
recognized by most pilots, masters and OOW. It is a practice on ships to have a well
established routine to welcome the pilot on board. A ship officer is assigned to meet the
pilot at the gangway and to escort him to the navigation bridge where he is introduced to
the master. Unfortunately, on some ships, the exchange between the pilot and the master
is limited to a handshake. It can be dangerous to the safety of the ship for a master to
consider the arrival of a pilot on board as a relief, a way to discharge some of their
responsibilities, a chance to get some rest. Unfortunately, masters having such an attitude
will come back to the bridge only to sign the pilot's card on his departure.

Case study

On 12 May 1991, the loaded Yugoslavian bulk carrier "MALINSKA" departed Hamilton,
Ontario, bound for the intermediate port of Sorel, Quebec. At about 0033 on 13 May, the
vessel ran aground approximately 20 miles south-south-west (SSW) of Kingston,
Ontario, after altering course south of Main Duck Island. The inquiry determined that the
"MALINSKA" ran aground because the vessel did not establish with certainty the
position and track, prior to, upon or after altering course off Main Duck Island. The
inquiry stated that "a general lack of interaction, coordination, and cooperation among the
master, the officer of the watch and the pilot was evidenced in this occurrence." The
inquiry also found that there was a lack of communication between the pilot and the
OOW regarding the charted midnight position. Both the pilot and the second mate did
their own calculations of the vessel's position, but they did not exchange information.

One pilot summed up the requirement for an exchange of technical information as

Pilots should be informed of each significant factor, which may affect his proposed
manoeuvring plan. Vessel manoeuvring characteristics should be shown to the pilot and
he should ensure he understands any special conditions, which may affect him. He should
always know who the senior officer of the bridge party is, including the master and be
aware of watch changes, quartermaster changes etc. Similarly the pilot must inform the
master of his intended manoeuvring plan and update this as necessary with any change in

conditions. Local regulations and communications requirements should be relayed to the
master and officer of the watch.

Manoeuvring Characteristics of the Vessel

Information between the pilot and master

Most of the time, the pilot has to question the master or OOW to obtain essential
information regarding the speed and manoeuvrability of the vessel. However, some pilots
are reportedly reluctant in their willingness to offer information to ship masters; some
masters and OOW claim that the pilot, once on the bridge, seldom has time to refer to
charts and provide details to the OOW, as he is occupied in conducting the vessel.

Some masters have stressed that it is typical of pilots anywhere in the world to provide
little information to the bridge officers and to act as if taking over the vessel. It seems that
few masters have at hand a specific table of their ship's characteristics to give to the pilot,
as recommended by the International Chamber of Shipping. They claim that the pilot may
not have time to read the card that he will have to leave the bridge at night to peruse it in
order to find the particular information needed. They indicate that verbal communication
is much more effective and tends to establish contact between the bridge personnel.
Masters claim that, as a safety measure before berthing the vessel, they always provide
the pilot with ship handling data, and that, if the pilot neglects to brief them on his
intended manoeuvres, they will ask for details.

Local Conditions

Masters should insist that the pilots brief them about the Pilotage waters. The attitude
should not be that unless there has been a change in the aids to navigation system or
special berthing manoeuvres have to be attempted, there is no need for the master to be
briefed on the details of the transit.

Masters on their intended manoeuvres

In addition, master should be informed, by the pilot, of the Harbour Master's docking
instructions. This perception that the masters and OOW know well the local conditions
and routines can lead both pilots and ship officers to take a lot for granted. Both groups
can assume that they share a common mental model of the area and the plan, without
having to review it together. This situation can lead to the bridge personnel and the pilot
surprising each other. In a dynamic situation, this can easily get out of hand. One person
assuming that other shares the same assessment of a situation can take action, which the
other does not expect. This places both of them in a difficult situation. Misunderstandings
can build on each other, destroying mutual support or teamwork, and even leading to
conflict. Prior discussion and agreement on the plan and mutual acceptance of duties and
responsibilities, however, will usually foster teamwork.

Manoeuvring and Passage Plans

Case study

On 08 May 1991, while down-bound in the St. Lawrence River with a cargo of oil, the
Canadian tanker "IRVING NORDIC" struck bottom to the north of the ship channel,
downstream of the Grondines wharf. The inquiry determined that the "IRVING
NORDIC" struck bottom because the vessel left the navigation channel as a result of a
premature alteration of course. The alteration of course was ordered by the pilot who
believed that the "IRVING NORDIC" was farther downstream than the vessel really was.
The helmsman did not advise the pilot that he was experiencing difficulty in holding the
vessel on course. The pilot did not question the helmsman about the position of the wheel
relative to the rudder angle indicator. The OOW method of monitoring the vessel's
progress was not sufficiently precise to prevent the occurrence. The inquiry further stated
that a general lack of interaction and coordination between bridge personnel and the pilot
contributed to the accident.

In its report, the inquiry, discussing the errors that resulted in the vessel striking bottom,

In confined compulsory Pilotage waters, a pilot's passage plan containing all key
navigational elements such as course alteration points, wheel-over positions, and points
where the accuracy of position fixing is critical, etc. could reduce the risk of such errors.

There can be a discrepancy in a pilot’s view, who can claim that they do a good job of
establishing effective relationships by sharing information on local conditions and plans.
The masters and bridge officers, however, may not endorse the pilots' assessment of their
own efforts because there can be a tendency, on part of the pilot, to provide complete
information when it is needed or requested. Masters should be aware of such an
assumption because both parties can assume that the other party knows the necessary
information; otherwise, they expect that the other party will take the initiative to ask for
the information. The implication is that, much of the time, pilots believe that it is not
needed or requested. In fact, some pilots complain that, as soon as they take the con,
masters often take advantage of their presence to leave the bridge to get some sleep. It
needs be reiterated that at no time should a Master have such an attitude in the presence
of a pilot.

Hand-over Briefings

Masters are often unaware of the local conditions and pilots are often unaware of the
manoeuvring characteristics of the vessel. Therefore, hand-over briefings are essential so
that both the master, having responsibility for the safety of the vessel, and the pilot,
having responsibility for the conduct of the vessel, will be aware of all relevant factors
which might affect the safe navigation of the vessel.

Case study

On 05 August 1990, after un-berthing in the Port of Montreal and attempting to turn the
vessel to head downstream, the chemical tanker "LAKE ANINA" grounded outside the
channel over a pipeline buried in the river bed. The inquiry determined that, while in a
compulsory Pilotage area with a pilot on board, the master retained the conduct of the
vessel. The master believed that he was better suited to carry out the manoeuvre because
of his familiarity with the vessel, and he was counting on the pilot's advice during the
manoeuvre. However, the master and the pilot had different ideas as to the helm and
engine actions required to effect the turn. In this case, the master's ideas prevailed. The
type and degree of support and advice to be given by the pilot were not determined in

An exchange of all relevant information and the intended transfer of the conduct of the
vessel should also be established and agreed upon as soon as possible. Hand-over
briefings are an essential component of teamwork and cooperation. However, here again,
there is a different perception between pilots and master / bridge officers on the conduct
of hand-over briefings.

Radio Communications

It is the responsibility of the Master to ensure that all communications relating to the
navigation and safety of the ship are conveyed to the master / OOW.


The only practical way to improve operation relationship is to improve communication
between pilots-masters-officers of the watch. This can be by one common language
internationally.... As standards of crewing have yet to see a real positive improvement,
this problem will be ongoing until the shipping world exhausts the search of nation’s
forever cheaper crews. With the introduction of a new nation/language, the
communication problem exists with these new conscripts for three to five years until they
have attained a reasonable level of language expertise, they then become more expensive
and so the cycle continues. --- A pilot

An increasing number of foreign vessels plying Canadian waters are reported by pilots as
having no one on board who can speak English or French. In fact, since 1975, there have
been at least 24 marine occurrences involving foreign-flag vessels in Canadian waters
where an inadequate knowledge of the operating language was identified as a
contributing factor.

In a study conducted by Transport Canada, when pilots were asked whether language
barriers make it difficult to communicate orders to the helmsman on foreign-registered
vessels, some 60% replied that language barriers "sometimes" affect communication with
the helmsman while 20% reported that it "often" resulted in difficulty in communicating.

An IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) memorandum on the "Role of the Human
Element in Maritime Casualties", submitted by the government of the Bahamas, states:

It should be noted that in the Act, if the crew have insufficient knowledge of English and
do not have a common language, the ship shall be deemed un-seaworthy and shall not
proceed to sea.


On foreign-registered ships... I have had several incidents when the Captain gave the
helmsman different orders than I gave him. I can tell by the rudder indicator. (In other
words he is second-guessing my judgement.) Over the last 23 years, this has nearly
caused some collisions and grounding. Also with a variable pitch propeller I have had
different orders relayed for engine movement while manoeuvring the ship. Again second-
guessing my judgement/ability - a very dangerous action - creating confusion on the
bridge. On several occasions the master has said it was "Pilot error" - not so in my case -
now I carry a tape-recorder to protect myself. --- A pilot

Ineffective communications on the bridge, interrupted procedures, lack of situational
awareness, lack of teamwork between pilots and ship officers, etc. have been contributory
factors in several similar occurrences in recent years. For instance, the following extracts
from Transport Canada reports are representative of occurrences in which there were
serious lapses in teamwork among the bridge officers:

…A general lack of interaction, coordination, and cooperation among the master, the
officer of the watch and the pilot was evidenced.... There was no effective exchange of
navigational and operational information among the different crewmembers and the pilot
when they came onto the bridge around midnight. Both the pilot and the second mate did
their own calculations of the vessel's position, but they did not exchange information....
Because he did not know what the pilot's intentions were, the second mate did not
question him…

It should be noted that teamwork is as important as technical proficiency for safe

Master / Pilot Information Exchange

Pilot supplied by Master with relevant ship-handling information (draught, trim,
turning circles, peculiar manoeuvring characteristics in restricted water depth/
channel width and other data). This information may be displayed at the conning

Proposed track, plan, alternative plan, and available anchor berths along route
explained by pilot’s charts. With Master, Charts compared with the pilot’s charts

If required, appropriate Master/ Pilot information exchange from may be used

Safe progress of the ship in relation to agreed track and plan monitored by Master
and Officer of the Watch and the execution of orders checked

Berthing/ un-berthing plan, including the availability and use of tugs and other
external facilities agreed by pilot and Master

Tide, set, wind force and direction, visibility expected along route
Pilot informed of position of life-saving appliances provided for his use

Check List of Items to be agreed between the Master and the Pilot

1. Navigation Advice to Pilot

Vessel’s heading, speed, RPM. (speed increasing/ decreasing)
Distance off/ bearing of nearest appropriate navigating/ aid or landmark
ETA at next course change position, next course/ heading
Point out converging and close – by traffic
Depth of water under the keel
Any other items

2. Reach Agreement on Underway Procedures

Manoeuvres for narrows, bends, turns, etc
Courses/ headings, distance off danger areas, maximum speed
Restrictions: day versus night movement/ berthing
Tide and current conditions not acceptable
Minimum acceptable visibility at any point
Use of anchor (planned, emergency)
Manoeuvres not requiring tugs
Manoeuvres requiring tugs
Number of tugs required (and when)
Source of tug securing lines: ship or tug
Push/ pull power of required tugs
Communications procedure between vessel and tugs
Placement of tugs alongside
Crew standby requirement – number available and stations
Expected time vessel has to arrive at berth/ turning basin at high / low / slack
water- average speed to his positions
Any other items

3. Reach Agreement on Mooring / Unmooring Procedures

Maximum acceptable wind force and direction
Unmooring procedures without tugs in event of emergency
Sequence of running out/retrieving-mooring lines / Wires
Mooring lines to be run out by launch and time to run lines

Provision for dock line handlers
Determine which side to
Fire wires required
Any other items

An Example of Master / Pilot Information Exchange Form

(Information to be provided by Master)

Master ____________________ Date ____________
Please provide the following Information about your vessel:

Draft Fwd Aft Amidships
Tankers Distance
To manifold only
Manifold to bridge
Main Engine
Turbine Diesel
Bridge control of Engines Yes No

Manoeuvring Speed/ Revolutions Critical RPM ___________

Full speed Half Speed Slow Dead Slow
Knots knots knots knots
Revolutions Revolutions Revolutions Revolutions
Maximum astern revolutions ____________________________ minutes.

It necessary to exceed manoeuvring full ahead allow _________________

Minutes for slowing down

Sea speed loaded: __________ Sea speed Ballast: ___________________

Present state of M.E/ Telegraphs: __________________________________

Ship Handling information and peculiarities of ship.

Navigation Aids

______ cms Radar on ________ Range Display Mode _________________

______ cms Radar on ________ Range Display Mode _________________

Other Navigational Aid Available: -

VHF on channel ______________ Gyro error ________________________

Equipment Defects/ Limitations Which may affect Pilotage navigational Advice: -
(1) Vessel’s heading speed, R.P.M.

(2) Point out converging & close by traffic.

GENERAL INFORMATION TO PILOT e.g. L.S.A for pilot’s use.


Pilot Mr. _______________ Date ________

Please provide following information to the Master:

Intended navigation plan for the passage.
Speed(s) required at different stages of the passage.
Any navigation restrictions: - Dry versus night navigation etc.
Status of navigational aids in Pilot age waters.
Tides, currents, weather anticipated.
Expected traffic conditions.
Any other information critical to the safe passage.
Contingency plans, alternative routes (if available).
Minimum visibility acceptable at any time.
Use of critical /anchors (planned or emergency).
E.T.A at critical points of navigation.
Any special local regulations.
Latest charts for Pilotage area.
Number of tugs required for berthing and which side alongside.
Communication system between tugs and the ship.
Any special requirements? If so, describe:

Common errors found in the Master – Pilot relationship

The details delineated below are from a study conducted by the Transportation Safety
Board of Canada. This has been included here to guide the student as what not to do and
how to formulate an effective master – pilot relationship that should be within the
framework of the bridge team management.

In the 273 occurrences examined, misunderstanding between the pilot and master,
inattention by the pilot or the OOW, or lack of communication between the pilot
and the OOW were frequently present.

The vast majority of responding masters, bridge officers and pilots believe that
teamwork is as important as technical proficiency for safe navigation.

Recent occurrences indicate continuing problems with respect to the adequacy of
bridge teamwork; e.g. lack of a mutually agreed passage plan, lack of interaction,
coordination and cooperation among the bridge team, lack of precise progress-
monitoring by the OOW, etc.

Fundamental differences in the corporate perspectives of ship officers and pilots
on such issues as the need for compulsory Pilotage and limited pilots' legal
liability are not conducive to promoting harmony in bridge teamwork.

Although most pilots, masters and OOW agree that improving communications
among bridge personnel is key to safe marine operations, a significant proportion
of masters and bridge officers reported reluctance to question a pilot's decisions.

Often, there are differences in perceptions between masters / OOW and pilots
regarding the need for the exchange of information and the adequacy of the
information being exchanged.

Most masters and bridge officers who responded state that they always inform the
pilot of the manoeuvring characteristics of the vessel, but few pilots state that they
are always provided with the information.

The majority of masters and bridge officers feel that pilots do not always provide
adequate timely information on local conditions.

Many masters and bridge officers reported that pilots do not always provide
information to the master or the OOW regarding the passage plan.

Pilots and masters also disagree over the adequacy of hand-over briefings; most
masters / OOW say that they are informative and most pilots say that they are not.

Many masters and OOW believe that pilots do not always convey information
essential to safe navigation which is received by radio communications.

With respect to the overall exchange of information between pilots and masters
and OOW, apparently each party is under the assumption that the other knows the
necessary information and, if they do not, they will request it.

Misperceptions that the other party knows about the manoeuvring characteristics
of the vessel, or the local conditions and the intended passage plan can lead to
significant misunderstandings and surprises for the bridge team.

A majority of pilots reported that language barriers "sometimes" prevent effective
communication with the master and the OOW; several reported that language
barriers "often" prevented it.

Pilots and bridge officers disagree on the extent to which OOW monitor the
vessel's progress, the pilots expressing some dissatisfaction with respect to how
well they are being supported or monitored by bridge personnel. However, both
groups agree that the pilots seldom assist the OOW in monitoring the vessel

Most of the foregoing findings are indicative of serious barriers in the relationship
among pilots, masters and OOW, thereby compromising their effectiveness as a
coherent team.

IMO Guidelines on Master-Pilot Relationship - Ref IMO Resolution 960
dated 5
March 04

Despite the duties and obligations of a pilot, the pilot’s presence on board does not
relieve the master or officer in charge of the navigational watch from their duties
and obligations for the safety of the ship. It is important that, upon the pilot
boarding the ship and before the Pilotage commences, the pilot, the master and the
bridge personnel are aware of their respective roles in the safe passage of the ship.

The master, bridge officers and pilot share a responsibility for good
communications and understanding of each other’s role for the safe conduct of the
vessel in Pilotage waters. Masters and bridge officers have a duty to support the
pilot and to ensure that his/her actions are monitored at all times.

Pilot boarding point

The appropriate competent Pilotage authority should establish and promulgate the
location of safe pilot embarkation and disembarkation points. The pilot boarding
point should be at a sufficient distance from the commencement of the act of
Pilotage to allow safe boarding conditions. The pilot boarding point should also be
situated at a place allowing for sufficient time and sea room to meet the
requirements of the master-pilot information exchange.

Master - pilot information exchange

The master and the pilot should exchange information regarding navigational
procedures, local conditions and rules and the ship’s characteristics. This
information exchange should be a continuous process that generally continues for
the duration of the Pilotage

Each Pilotage assignment should begin with an information exchange between the
pilot and the master. The amount and subject matter of the information to be
exchanged should be determined by the specific navigation demands of the Pilotage
operation. Additional information can be exchanged as the operation proceeds

Each competent Pilotage authority should develop a standard exchange of

practice, taking into account regulatory requirements and best practices in the
Pilotage area

Pilots should consider using an information card, form, checklist or other memory
aid to ensure that essential exchange items are covered. If an information card or
standard form is used by pilots locally regarding the anticipated passage, the layout
of such a card or form should be easy to understand. The card or form should
supplement and assist, not substitute for, the verbal information exchange

This exchange of information should include at least:

Presentation of a completed standard Pilot Card. In addition, information should
be provided on rate of turn at different speeds, turning circles, stopping distances
and, if available, other appropriate data

General agreement on plans and procedures, including contingency plans, for the
anticipated passage

Discussion of any special conditions such as weather, depth of water, tidal
currents and marine traffic that may be expected during the passage; discussion of
any unusual ship-handling characteristics, machinery difficulties, navigational
equipment problems or crew limitations that could affect the operation, handling or
safe manoeuvring of the ship

Information on berthing arrangements; use, characteristics and number of tugs;
mooring boats and other external facilities

Information on mooring arrangements; and confirmation of the language to be
used on the bridge and with external parties .It should be clearly understood that
any passage plan is a basic indication of preferred intention and both the pilot and
the master should be prepared to depart from it when circumstances so dictate

Pilots and competent Pilotage authorities should be aware of the voyage planning
responsibilities of masters under applicable IMO instruments

Communications language

Pilots should be familiar with the IMO Standard Marine Communication Phrases
and use
them in appropriate situations during radio communications as well as during
verbal exchanges on the bridge. This will enable the master and officer in charge of
the navigational watch to better understand the communications and their intent.

Communications on board between the pilot and bridge watch keeping personnel
be conducted in the English language or in a language other than English that is
common to all those involved in the operation.

When a pilot is communicating to parties external to the ship, such as vessel traffic
services, tugs or linesmen and the pilot is unable to communicate in the English
language or a language that can be understood on the bridge, the pilot should, as
soon as practicable, explain what was said to enable the bridge personnel to
monitor any subsequent actions taken by those external parties.

Reporting of incidents and accidents

When performing Pilotage duties, the pilot should report or cause to be reported to
the appropriate authority, anything observed that may affect safety of navigation or

prevention. In particular, the pilot should report, as soon as practicable, any
accident that may have occurred to the piloted ship and any irregularities with
navigational lights, shapes and signals to the appropriate authority for action as

Additional Information

Master of vessels should not actively con the ship during Pilotage unless they are
free and familiar with the local conditions

Mater to ensure that the Bridge orders are given in the language understood by the

Effective Bridge Resource Management

Master role during Pilotage to have a overhaul view if passage and to be in a
position to intervene early if the things do not go as planned .By maintaining the
actual conduct of the vessel he shall not be able to perform his role effectively

Important aspect of Master/Pilot relationship is interpersonal relationship

Bridge Team to be aware of the difficulties encountered during Pilotage area

Pilot to be made aware of the characteristics and peculiarities of the ship

Pilot to be made aware of the fault with the equipment at his disposal

Well-planned passage continues from sea to berth and vice versa

The area where the Pilot actually has the con will be required to be planned by the

Abort Point , Contingency Anchorage to be marked.

Chapter 6 – Economics of Sea



Globalisation and theory of international trade

It may seem obvious to say that, today, we live in a global world, and it is certainly true
that international trade among all the nations and regions of the world is nothing new.
From the Phoenicians, through the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Carthaginians, the
Chinese, the Vikings, the Omanis, the Spaniards, the Portuguese, the Italians, the British,
the French, the Dutch, the Polynesians and Celts, the history of the world is a history of
exploration, conquest and trade by sea.

But there is no doubt that we have now entered a new era of global interdependence from
which there can be no turning back. In today’s world, national boundaries offer little
impediment to multi-national corporations: automobiles with far-eastern brands are not
only sold but also assembled in Europe, while European brands are assembled and sold in
North America; “western” energy companies invest millions of dollars in Asia and the
far-east and the strategy and investment decisions they make can affect millions of people
all over the world.

The high-flyers of the business world can cross oceans in just hours, communicating by
email and telephone as they go. In the financial markets, brokers and traders have thrown
off the constraints of time zones and distance and now access the markets all over the
world via their computers. In the 21
century, emerging industries such as computer
software, media and fashion have no obvious geographical dimension and recognise no
physical boundaries. In today’s consumer world, the same brands are recognised,
understood and valued all over the world.

As the world became more developed, proximity to raw materials and to markets became
the factors that, above all others, shaped the world’s economy and, in particular, the
major trade patterns and shipping routes.

Eventually, the great sea-borne trades became established - coal from Australia, Southern
Africa and North America to Europe and the Far East; grain from North and South
America to Asia, Africa and the Far East; iron ore from South America and Australia to
Europe and the Far East; oil from the Middle East, West Africa, South America and the
Caribbean to Europe, North America and Asia; and now we must add to this list
containerised manufactures from China, Japan and South-east Asia to the consumer
markets of the western world. Global trade has effectively permitted an enormous variety
of resources to be more widely accessible and has thus facilitated the widespread
distribution of our planet’s common wealth.

Today, international trade has evolved to the point where almost no nation can be fully
self-sufficient. Every country is involved, at one level or another, in the process of selling

what it produces and acquiring what it lacks: none can be dependent only on its domestic

Shipping has always provided the only really cost-effective method of bulk transport over
any great distance, and the development of shipping and the establishment of a global
system of trade have moved forward together, hand-in-hand. Those with access to natural
resources; those with the ability to convert those resources into useful products for the
good of mankind; and those with a requirement and the wherewithal to utilize and
consume those end products are all joined by the common thread of shipping. The eternal
triangle of producers, manufacturers and markets are brought together through shipping.
This has always been the case and will remain more so for the foreseeable future.

Shipping and the global economy

More than 90 per cent of global trade is carried by sea. It is almost impossible to quantify
the value of volume of world sea-borne trade in monetary terms: however, the United
Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimates that the operation
of merchant ships contributes about US$380 billion in freight rates within the global
economy, equivalent to about 5% of total world trade.

Shipping trade estimates are usually calculated in tonne-miles – a measurement of tonnes
carried, multiplied by the distance travelled. In 2003, for example, the industry shipped
around 6.1 thousand million tonnes over a distance of about 4 million miles, resulting in a
staggering total of over 25 thousand billion tonne-miles of trade.

Throughout the last century the shipping industry has seen a general trend of increases in
total trade volume. Increasing industrialization and the liberalization of national
economies have fuelled free trade and a growing demand for consumer products.
Advances in technology have also made shipping an increasingly efficient and swift
method of transport. Over the last four decades, total sea-borne trade estimates have more
than quadrupled, from less than 6 thousand billion tonne-miles in 1965 to the latest
full-year figure of 25 thousand billion tonne-miles in 2003.

As with all industrial sectors, however, shipping is not immune to occasional economic
downturns – a notable fall in trade occurred, for example, during the worldwide
economic recession of the early 1980s. However, although the growth in sea-borne trade
was tempered by the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, there has generally been
healthy growth in maritime trade since 1993. Overall, between 1980 and 1999, the value
of world trade grew at 12% per year, while total freight costs, during the same period,
increased by only 7%, demonstrating the falling unit costs of marine transportation.

The transport cost element in the shelf price of consumer goods varies from product to
product, but is ultimately marginal. For example, transport costs account for only around
2% of the shelf price of a television set and only around 1.2% of a kilo of coffee.

Shipping is truly the lynchpin of the global economy. Without shipping, intercontinental
trade, the bulk transport of raw materials and the import/export of affordable food and
manufactured goods would simply not be possible. Today’s world fleet is registered in
over 150 nations and is manned by over a million seafarers of virtually every nationality.

In the context of a global economy, the contribution made by shipping as a major
industry in its own right is very significant, and increasingly so for the developing world.
Maritime activity already provides an important source of income to many developing
countries. Indeed, developing countries now lead the world in some of shipping’s most
important ancillary businesses, including the registration of ships, the supply of sea-going
manpower and ship recycling. They also play a significant part in ship-owning and
operating, shipbuilding and repair and port services, among others.

General structure of shipping industry

The history of shipping is a glorious and proud one. There is no doubt, for example, that
the magnificent square riggers of the era of sail or the early 20
century’s prestigious
ocean liners could stir the hearts of all those that beheld them. But the ships of today are
just as worthy of our admiration, for shipping today is in another truly golden age. Ships
have never been so technically advanced, never been so sophisticated, never been more
immense, never carried so much cargo, never been safer and never been so
environmentally-friendly as they are today.

Mammoth containerships nudging the 10,000 TEU barrier yet still capable of 25 knot
operating speeds; huge oil tankers and bulk carriers that carry vast quantities of fuel,
minerals, and grain and other commodities around our planet economically, safely and
cleanly; the complex and highly specialized workhorses of the offshore industry; and the
wonderful giants of the passenger ship world are all worthy of our greatest admiration.

In shipping today we can see many marvels of state-of-the-art engineering and
technology that deserve to be ranked alongside the very finest achievements of our global
infrastructure. We all marvel at the wonders of the modern world – skyscrapers, bridges,
dams, ship canals, tunnels and so on. Although they all deserve our admiration, there
should be no question that today’s finest ships are also worthy of the sort of recognition
usually reserved for the great icons of land-based civil engineering – with one substantial
difference in favour of the former: while skyscrapers, bridges, dams et al are static
structures designed to withstand the elements coming to them, the very essence of marine
vehicles sends them out to sea to face the elements at full force, alone in the vastness of
the ocean. They should, therefore, be robust when built and maintained as such
throughout their entire lifetime.

Ships are high value assets, with the larger of them costing over US $100 million to
build. They are also technically sophisticated: you are more likely to find one of today’s
modern vessels being controlled by a single joystick and a mouse-ball in the arm of the
helmsman’s seat than by a horny-handed bosun grappling with a spiked wheel; the chief
engineer will probably have clean hands and the calluses on his or her fingers will be

from tapping a keyboard rather than wielding a spanner. The crew accommodation will
be clean, light and airy with modern recreation facilities; the food will be good; and you
may well find the first officer exchanging emails with his family at home via the satellite
communication system. Ships today are modern, technologically advanced workplaces
and the work of IMO has played, and continues to play, an important part in shaping that

As at 1 January 2005, the world trading fleet was made up of 46,222 ships, with a
combined tonnage of 597,709,000 gross tonnes. The vast bulk of the fleet was made up
of: general cargo ships (18,150), tankers (11,356), bulk carriers (6,139), passenger ships
(5,679) and containerships (3,165). Other ship types accounted for 1,733 vessels.

Although general cargo ships are still the largest single category, the trend among new
ships is more and more in favour of specialization (although it could be argued that
handy-sized, geared bulk carriers and versatile medium-sized containerships, of which
some have the ability to accommodate several different box sizes as well as palletised
cargo are the natural successors of the old general cargo vessels); indeed, it is interesting
to note that, in the most recent edition of the annual “Significant Ships” publication from
the United Kingdom’s Royal Institution of Naval Architects, not a single one of the 50
selected for 2004 was a general cargo vessel. Tankers make up the second largest
category. There are many different types of tanker, ranging from those carrying crude oil,
through those built to transport various refined hydrocarbon products, to highly
specialized ships that carry liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas. There are even
tankers designed to carry cargoes such as fresh water, wine or orange juice. In size terms,
the heyday of the tanker was the early 1970s, when the so-called Ultra-Large Crude
Carriers (ULCC), capable of lifting more than half a million tonnes of cargo, bestrode the
oceans. After the oil crisis of the 70s, tanker owners became a little more modest in their
ambitions and, since then, most large modern tankers are in the 200-300,000 tonnage
range. These are still massive vessels and enormously expensive to build, but today’s
high price of oil means they can pay for themselves in a relatively short period of time.

The world’s largest ship today is a 564,765 DWT tanker with an interesting and varied
history. She was built in 1976 and having undergone some work to increase her load-
carrying capacity, was finally floated two years later and named Seawise Giant. At first,
she operated in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, but was then used for
exporting oil from Iran during the Iran-Iraq War. In 1986, she was attacked but not sunk
in the Strait of Hormuz and at the end of the war in 1989 she was repaired and renamed
Happy Giant. In 1991, she was renamed again, this time to Jahre Viking.

In March 2004, the ship was sold and sent by its new owner to be refitted as a floating
storage and offloading unit. There, she was given her current name, Knock Nevis, and
plans have been made to operate her in the Al Shaheen oilfield in the waters of Qatar.
Perhaps more typical of the kind of large crude oil carrier being built today is the Irene
SL, also built in Japan in 2004. Selected as one of the Naval Architect’s 50 “Significant
Ships” of 2004, Irene SL has a design deadweight of just under 300,000 DWT, a double-
hull construction and is capable of handling three different grades of oil simultaneously

in her 15 cargo tanks. Her cargo and ballast control systems, including the operation of
pumps, valves and ullage measurement are all computerized. For safety, inert gas is
pumped into the cargo tanks when they are empty and, to comply with the most recent
requirements on emissions, the ship is fitted with a scrubber system to clean the exhaust

Bulk carriers are often called the workhorses of the international shipping fleet. They can
be thought of as simple, relatively unsophisticated but nevertheless highly efficient
vessels that typically transport commodities such as grain, coal and mineral ores. If
tankers provide the fuel that powers the modern economy, bulk carriers are responsible
for moving the raw materials that are its lifeblood.

In terms of size, the world’s bulk carrier fleet has three categories; ships of up to 50,000
DWT are known as “handy-sized”; ships of 50,000 to 80,000 DWT are known as
“Panamax” (being the largest ships able to transit the Panama Canal) and ships of more
than 80,000 DWT are known as “capesize”. Bulk carriers embrace a number of variations
– single or double hull, with or without their own cargo-handling equipment – but all are
characterized by the huge hatch covers that can be rolled or lifted away to reveal to
cavernous holds beneath.

Because of the nature of the cargoes they carry – often heavy, high-density commodities
– accidents involving bulk carriers have sometimes resulted in considerable loss of life.
For this reason IMO has, over a long period of time, undertaken a great deal of work to
improve the safety of this type of vessel. There is, for example, a special chapter on bulk
carrier safety in the Safety of Life at Sea Convention, covering such topics as damage
stability, structural strength, surveys and loading. In a casualty analysis undertaken
recently by the International Association of Dry Cargo Ship-owners – INTERCARGO –
for bulk carriers for the ten years to 2001 it revealed that the number of ships, lives and
tonnage being lost in this sector are all decreasing. Moreover, the report has specifically
identified that IMO measures such as the Enhanced Programme of Inspections during
Surveys and SOLAS chapter XII on bulk carrier safety, have reduced the risk of fatality
on new and existing ships by 50 % and 25 % respectively.

Passenger ships come next in the world fleet league table. There are two basic categories
– which can be summed up as “fun” or “function”. In the latter category are those which
are designed to move people and, often, vehicles on regular itineraries from one place to
another as quickly and cheaply as possible (i.e. ferries) and, in the former, those which
the passengers see as a leisure destination in their own right (i.e. cruise ships). In both
categories, the size, sophistication and the sheer number of passengers that can be carried
have reached mind-boggling proportions. Because of their individuality, as well as their
resonance with the great ocean liners of a bygone era, these ships tend to be the best
known and most recognized among the general public at large. One of the finest modern
examples is the Queen Mary II, built in France for Carnival Corp’s Cunard in 2004. QM2
is the largest, longest, tallest, widest ocean liner ever and has cost an estimated $800
million dollars. She incorporates all the very latest international standards with regard to

safety, security and environmental protection, offering her passengers an unparalleled
opportunity to experience the wonders of ocean travel in the finest style.

With ships such as this, it is little wonder that, over the past ten or fifteen years, the cruise
and passenger sector has become one of the industry’s most vibrant sectors and is now a
major force within shipping, both in terms of technological development and commercial
success. But the one sector which can be said to have transformed the face of shipping,
certainly in the latter half of the 20
century, is that of container shipping. Unheard of
before the 1960s, the container is now ubiquitous and is the standard unit of cargo for just
about every form of manufactured item on the planet (there are exceptions: automobiles,
for example, are transported in special ships designed solely for the purpose).

Today’s giant containerships can carry more than 8,000 “boxes” and typically operate
between purpose-built ports served by massive cranes that can load and unload containers
at astonishing rates. Containership operators can offer fixed sailing schedules with tight
delivery margins and these ships are now an integral part of the modern, multi-modal
transport and logistics industry.

With this background on the economics of international sea-borne trade, we now move to
specific commercial aspects of voyage calculations.

Voyage estimates and cargo calculations


Lay Days: This refers to range or spread of days between which the owners must present
the vessel for loading.

Lay Time: Time allowed to the charterers for loading and or discharging by the owners
without payment additional to freight. In this period the owner is to make the keep the
vessel available for loading or discharging.

Cancelling date: Is a date beyond which if the vessel is not presented for loading, the
charterers may reject her. This is found in the cancelling clause in C/P agreement.

Lay Can: It is period of lay days plus cancelling date. During this period vessel must
arrive and be presented at the agent port/ place. If the vessel arrives before that date the
charterer need not accept her until the commencement of the agreed lay days. If she
arrives after the last day of the period, the charter can reject the vessel and cancel the

Lay-time Definitions 1980

The following definitions are widely accepted by the trade, in the absence of overriding
conditions to the contrary. They may be adopted by the parties to a charter party in order
to avoid differences in interpretation. For example, in the present state of the law,

judgements of the Court do not equate with the traditional understanding in the market.
The agreement of the parties, during Charter-party negotiations, to adopt those two
definitions of interpretation would override any common law judgement.


Port: Means an area within which ships are loaded with and /or discharged of cargo and
includes the usual places where ships wait for their turn or are ordered or obliged to wait
for their turn no matter the distance from that area. If the work “Port” is not used, but the
port is (or is to be ) identified by its name, this definition shall still apply.

Safe port: Means a port which, during the relevant period of time, the ship can reach,
enter, remain at and depart from without, in the absence of some abnormal occurrence,
being exposed to danger which cannot be avoided by good navigation and seamanship.

Berth: Means the specific place where the ship is to load and/or discharge. If the word
“Berth” is not used, but the specific place is (or is to be) identified by its name, this
definition shall still apply.

Safe berth: Means a berth which, during the relevant period of time, the ship can reach,
remain at the depart from without, in the absence of some abnormal occurrence, being
exposed to danger which cannot be avoided by good navigation and seamanship.

Reachable on arrival or always accessible: Mean that the charterer undertakes that
when the ship arrives at the port there will be a loading/ discharging berth for her to
which she can proceed without delay.

Lay-time: Means the period of time agreed between the parties during which the owner
will make and keep the ship available for loading/ discharging without payment
additional to the freight.

Customary despatch: Means that the charterer must load and/or discharge as fast as is
possible in the circumstances prevailing at the time of loading or discharging.

Per hatch per day: Means that lay-time is to be calculated by multiplying the agreed
daily rate per hatch of loading/discharging the cargo by the resulting sum. Thus:

Hatches of Number x Rate Daily
oes c of Quantity Laytime arg =

= Days

hatch that is A capable of being worked by two gangs simultaneously shall be counted as
two hatches.

Per working hatch per day or per workable hatch per day- means that lay-time is to be
calculated by dividing the quantity of cargo in the hold with the largest quantity by the
sult of multiplying the agreed daily rate per working or workable hatch by the number
es serving that hold.

= Days
hatch that is capable of being worked by two gangs simultaneously shall be counted as
Means that the lay-time is a period of time to
e calculated by reference to the maximum rate at which the ship in full working order is
– Means a continuous period of 24 hours which, unless the context otherwise requires,
lear day or Clear days: Means that the day on which the notice is given ad the day on
art (S) thereof on which cargo work on the ship
ould normally take place but is suspended t the place of loading/discharging by reason
orking days: Means days or part(S) thereof which are not expressly excluded from
unning day or Consecutive days: Means days which follow one immediately after the
e a period
alculated by reference to the ratio which the duration of the interference bears to the
ld have occurred if work had been in
rogress) there shall be excluded from the lay-time the period during which the weather
of hatch
hold one in quantity est L Laytime arg =

hold that serving ofHatches Number x hatch per Rate Daily
two hatches.

As fast as the vessel can receive/deliver –
capable of loading/discharging the cargo.

runs from midnight to midnight.

which the notice expires is not included in the notice period.

Holiday: Means a day of the week or p
of: The local law, or the local practice

lay-time by the Charter-party and which are not holidays.


Weather working day: Means a working day or part of a working day during which it is
or, if the vessel is still waiting for her turn, it would be possible to load/discharge the
cargo without interference due to the weather. If such interference occurs (or would have
occurred if work had been in progress), there shall be excluded from the lay-tim
time which would have or could have been worked but for the interference.

Weather working day of 24 consecutive hours: Means a working day or part of a
working day of 24 hours during which it is or, if the ship is still waiting for her turn, it
would be possible to load/discharge the cargo wou
interfered or would have interfered with the work.

Weather permitting: Means that time during which weather prevents working shall not
xcepted: Means that the specified days do not count as lay-time even if the actual hours
nless used: Means that if work is carried out during the excluded days the actual hours
o average: Means that separate calculations are to be made for loading and discharging
terer to add together the time allowed for
ading and discharging. Where the option is exercised the effect is the same as a total
tice to the charterer, shipper, receiver or other person as
equired by the charter that the ship has arrived at the port or berths as the case may be
n writing: Means, in relation to a notice of readiness, a notice visibly expressed in any
estarts when the ship reaches the
ading/ discharging berth subject to the giving of a notice time if provided for in the
scharging is a berth and if the berth is not immediately accessible to the ship a
otice of readiness can be given when the ship has arrived at the port in which the berth is
emurrage: Means the money payable to the owner for delay for which the owner is not
ge: Means that the lay-time has expired. Unless the Charter-party expressly
rovides to the contrary the time on demurrage will not be subjected to the lay time
count as lay-time.

of work only count as lay-time.

of work only count as lay-time.

and any time saved in one operation is to be set against any excess time used in the other.

Reversible: Means an option given to the char
time being specified to cover both operations.

Notice of readiness: Means no
and is ready to load/discharge.

mode of reproducing words and includes cables, telegram and telex.

“Time lost waiting for berth to count as loading/discharge time” or “as lay-time”:
Means that if the main reason why a notice of readiness cannot be given is that there is no
loading/discharging berth available to the ship the lay-time will commence to run when
the ship starts to wait for a berth and will continue to run, unless previously exhausted,
until the ship stops waiting. The lay-time exceptions apply to the waiting time as if the
ship was at the loading/discharging berth provided the ship is not already on demurrage.
When the waiting time ends time ceases to count and r
Charter-party, unless the ship is by then on demurrage.

“Whether in berth or not” or “berth no berth”: Means that if the location named for

responsible in loading and/or discharging after the lay-time has expired.

On demurra

“Despatch money” or “Despatch”: Means the money payable by the owner if the ship
completes loading or discharging before the lay-time has expired.

All time saved: Means the time saved to the ship from the completion of
All working time saved” or “all lay-time saved”: Means the time saved to the ship
om the completion of loading/discharging to the expiry of the lay-time excluding any
consumption at cape Verde islands 3t fuel oil and 10 fresh water. Three
ays reserve of fuel oil and fresh water to be provided for all times at sea. Calculate the
rgo that can be loaded in Victoria and the fuel oil on board on arrival
D ( T D ( S
--------------------- ---------- ---------------------------- ----------------------------------


loading/discharging to the expiry of the lay-time including periods excepted from the lay

notice time and periods excepted from the lay-time.

Q1. An ore carrier, summer draft 960m, summer deadweight 23430t, TPC 30t; daily
consumption at sea 38t fuel oil and 16t fresh water leaves Victoria (south America) for
Middlesbrough calling at cape Verde islands for taking 800 tons fuel oil and required
quantity of fresh water. Victoria to cape Verde islands; 6 days; first 5 days of which in
Tropical zone and remaining 1 day in summer zone. Cape Verde islands to
Middlesbrough: 7 days first 4 days of which in summer zone and remaining 3 days in
winter zone. Port
maximum ca

Solution :

5 ) 1D( S ) 4 ) 3D ( W )












- 276
+ 800
+ 122



-152 -152

-64 -64
24399 22830 -1569 22830

Chapter 7: Shipping Practice and


The Two Forms of Contract

The Charter-Party

There are two forms of contract that are embodied in charter-parties and bills of lading
respectively. What is the difference between the two?

To put it broadly, a charter-party is a contract between the charterer and the ship-owner,
by which the former hires from the latter the use of the ship:

Either for a certain length of time - say, twelve months - when it is called a time

For a certain voyage, when it is called a voyage charter; this latter may be out
and home,' usually called a 'round voyage'.

The charter may be an ordinary hire just as the hire of any moveable thing, for
instance, a motor car for an excursion, or it may be in the nature of a lease by
which the owner grants or demises the entire control and possession of the ship to
the charterer (charter by demise). This type of charter-party is appropriate when
a ship-owner is desirous of augmenting his fleet, or where a person wishes to
obtain full temporary possession of a ship, as when fitting out an expedition for
exploration. The demise charterer is in a position similar to the lease holder of
land, that is to say, he is for all practical purposes, except registration, the
temporary owner of the ship. Accordingly the duties and rights of the owner are
performed and exercised, respectively, by him. He is also bound by a salvage
award, and it is on his behalf that the master signs bills of lading, The master and
crew are his, and not the owner's servants. During the duration of a charter by
demise the owner's right is to be paid the hire or, as it is sometimes confusingly
called, the chartered freight. He is not allowed to interfere in any way with the
management of the ship, except in so far as the terms of the charter-party itself
permit. If the ship earns a salvage award the charterer by demise is entitled to it.
The common form of charter-party is that used between the shipper of goods and
the ship-owner.

Form of Charter-Party

The word 'charter-party' is derived from carta partita (divided document) which refers to
the ancient practice of writing out the terms of the contract in duplicate on one piece of
parchment and then dividing it down the middle, thus providing each party with a copy. It
is therefore not surprising to observe that to this day, despite the absence of a rule
requiring the written form, most negotiations by telephone or telex will eventually lead to
the formal drawing up of a written charter-party, with standard terms and riders attached.
Whether or not the parties can be said to be contractually bound before they sign the

charter-party will depend in large part on the intentions of the parties and the
circumstances of the case.

If a ship is owned by several owners, a part-owner who has not consented is not bound by
the charter-party. He cannot prevent the ship from sailing, but he may sue the other
owners for a bond securing his share. He then has no part in profit or loss of the chartered

The actual terms of the contract contained in a charter-party are very varied and
complicated, and some of them, though naturally couched in different language, are
common to most charter-parties. Others depend very much on the type of trade on which
the vessel is engaged. Some big shipping companies have their own form of charter-
party. Similarly, some very large shippers will only charter on the terms of their own
standard form. Again the ship-owners engaged in a particular trade, such as the
Baltic wood goods trade, may agree to use a standard form of charter-party. These
standard forms are more frequently than not amended and added to by what have
come to be called 'rider-clauses', which themselves give rise to numerous problems
of interpretation.

Bill of Lading

The charter-party evidences the hire of an entire ship, or at any rate a large part of
her such as a hold. It is clearly not a suitable form of contract for a person who
wishes to send a small parcel of goods. Such a person must look out for a ship,
which is carrying general cargo to the port to which he wishes to send his goods. A
vessel of this kind may be sailing regularly along a certain line of ports at advertised
times, when she is called a liner, or from port to port looking for cargo, when she is
called a tramp. Such ships are still called by lawyers 'general ships' and the owner is
a 'common carrier'. The contract of affreightment is in this case made (or more
strictly, evidenced) by a bill of lading, which is usually issued after the loading of
the goods. However, even in the case of chartered ships a bill of lading is invariably
issued; it is then not used as evidence of the terms of a contract but as evidence of
the shipment of goods, i.e. as a receipt. Moreover, unless it is a 'straight' bill of
lading intended for use exclusively between the shipper and the consignee, the bill
of lading has by mercantile usage come to represent the goods in such a way that the
transfer of it to a third party may transfer to the latter the property in the goods and
the right to receive delivery of them from the ship at her port of discharge.

(A) Functions of Bill of Lading

Thus a bill of lading performs three separate functions:

(a) It is evidence of the terms of a contract of affreightment
(b) It is evidence of the shipment of goods

(c) It is evidence that its holder has the right to claim possession of the goods it
represents and that he might, in certain circumstances, have the property therein; that
is, it is a document of title.

(B) Bills of Lading in Sets

The bills of lading are issued to the shipper in sets of three or four; if three copies are
issued, one is retained by the master or broker; two copies are dispatched, one
usually by express mail, to the buyer, or to any other addressee of the cargo, i.e. the
consignee. If the shipper and the consignee have agreed to use a letter of credit as a
method of payment, the copies would be tendered to the shipper's bank together with
the other shipping documents in return for the price for the goods shipped. By the
endorsement and delivery of the bills of lading to any sub-buyer, the latter as
assignees steps into the consignee's shoes and, on arrival of the ship at the port of
destination, the sub-buyer can take immediate delivery on presenting the bills of
lading representing the lot he has purchased from the importer, who will usually be
the consignee.

Relationship between Charter-Party and Bill of Lading

The relationship between the two contracts maybe puzzling, especially when both
documents are in use at once. The co-existence of two apparently equally
contractual documents has given rise to many technical difficulties. The principal
question is always: Wh6 is liable and who is entitled under the contract of carriage?

In other words, whom, ship-owner or charterer, do shipper and consignee hold
responsible for the safe arrival of the goods? Who, owner or charterer, is entitled to
the freight? In order to answer these questions it may be useful to set out the various
possibilities. There are normally four and they follow naturally from what we have
just said about the operation of the entire contract.

(i) The contract of carriage may be between the owner of a general ship and the
shipper. A charter-party is not then used and the contract is evidenced in the bill of
lading. This happens in almost all cases where goods are shipped by a liner.

(ii) The contract of carriage may be between ship-owner and charterer under an
ordinary form of charter-party. Here a bill of lading will be issued when the cargo is
loaded, but it will generally take effect as a receipt, not as a contract.

(iii) The contract may be between charterer by demise and shipper. Here there is a
contract in the nature of a lease, not a contract of carriage, unless and until one be
entered into between the charterer and some other shipper, when it will fall under (i)
or (ii) above, depending on whether the charterer puts up the ship as a general ship
or not. The contract of carriage is then, of course, between charterer and shipper.

(iv) Where the charterer under an ordinary charter-party does not ship goods himself
but transfers his right to do so to somebody else, there will normally be both a
charter-party and a bill of lading issued by the ship-owner or by the charterer, or by
agents for either to the shipper, and it is when that happens that the chief difficulties
arise. The most fruitful cause of trouble lies in the differences between the terms of
the two documents.

(v) Finally, it may even happen in exceptional cases that in respect of the same
voyage the contract of carriage in respect of one parcel of goods is made between
shipper and ship-owner, and in respect of another parcel between shipper and
charterer. Thus one bill of lading might be issued by the owner and one by the
chatterer, the master signing them being the agent once of the owner and once of the

Difficulties may be experienced in cases (iv) and (v), for it may be uncertain whether the
shipper contracted with the owner or with the charterer. This is a question of fact to be
decided by looking at all the circumstances of the case. A common instance of such
difficulties is, for example, where a charterer is only a broker who guarantees cargo for
vessels, which he undertakes to load.

Cesser Clause

Normally a charterer who transfers his space to a shipper is only too anxious to drop out
of the transaction provided his profit is assured. This means that he is content to leave the
work of carrying to the ship-owner, and the bill of lading will accordingly be issued on
the latter's behalf and will constitute the contract of carriage except in so far as it may
expressly incorporate the terms of the charter-party. This result is usually brought about
by inserting what is called a 'cesser clause' in the charter-party.

It is provided by such a clause that the ship-owner shall have a lien on the cargo for
freight, dead freight and demurrage, and that the charterer's obligation to pay freight is
accordingly to cease as soon as a full cargo is shipped. At that moment, of course, the
right of lien will come into existence. A cesser clause takes, as a rule, some such form as:

“This charter being entered into on behalf of others, all liability of the parties signing to
cease after shipment of cargo, in consideration of which it is agreed that for the payment
of all freight, dead freight, and demurrage, the said owner shall have an absolute lien
and charge on the said cargo”.

Having examined the methods by which contracts of affreightment are entered into we
must come to the kernel of the matter, the rights and obligations of the parties in
connection with the actual transport of the goods, including loading and discharge. We
shall attempt to make this matter clear in the light of the general principles of law relating
to the distinctions between express and implied terms.

The most important of these implied terms are the following:


By entering into a contract to carry goods in his ship whether under a charter-party
or as a common carrier, a ship-owner undertakes that his ship is seaworthy. Yet
charter-parties also contain the express term that the ship is 'tight staunch and
strong and in every way fitted for the voyage', and it may well be asked why, in
view of these clear words, the courts should have found it necessary to imply a
warranty of seaworthiness. The answer is that the express undertaking, as the
context shows, can only refer to the condition of the ship at the time when the
charter contract is concluded; the 'voyage' for which the ship is to be 'in every way
fitted' can therefore only be the preliminary voyage from where the ship happens to
be to the port where the cargo is taken on board. The charter is silent on the
condition of the ship when it sails with cargo from the loading port, and the implied
term as to seaworthiness applies to this cargo-carrying voyage, actually, to its

Due Dispatch

It is also an implied term of every contract of affreightment that the ship will
commence and carry out her voyage with reasonable diligence.

Effect of Breach of the Seaworthiness Obligation

The effect of a breach of the seaworthiness term can be summarized thus: where the
effect of the breach is not such as to deprive the cargo owner of substantially the whole
benefit of the contract, or where despite such effect, the cargo-owner chooses not to
terminate the contract, the cargo-owner can sue the carrier for damages in accordance
with the contract. Thus the plaintiff’s damages will be restricted by clauses limiting or
excluding the carrier's liability for losses caused by un-seaworthiness or any other course.

Proof of Un-seaworthiness

Before leaving this subject, a word must be said about the proof of un-seaworthiness. In
the ordinary way the person relying on un-seaworthiness, that is to say the charterer or
shipper, must prove it. Rigid adherence to this rule would often exempt the owner from
responsibility since the facts are almost entirely within the latter's knowledge. The
Hague-Visby Rules have gone some way towards redressing the balance by imposing
upon the owner the burden of proving that the un-seaworthiness of the vessel was not
caused by want of due diligence on the owner's part. This, however, still leaves the prior
problem of proof of un-seaworthiness, a problem which is harder on a charterer who, not
covered by the Hague-Visby Rules, has to prove also that the un-seaworthiness was
caused by the carrier's want of due diligence where the charter-party makes the owner
liable only for such failure. On the other hand, it must be said that the judges are free to

draw their own inferences from a relatively skeletal framework of facts brought forward
by the cargo-owner.

The Bill of Lading as a Receipt

The original function of the bill of lading was that of a receipt. It commences with the
words 'shipped' or 'received', and then proceeds to enumerate the goods according to
quantity, description and shipping marks. The bill of lading was originally issued by the
master at the time when the goods were shipped. In modern times, however, when the
goods are put on board the mate usually issues an informal receipt, which is later
exchanged for the bill of lading.

Until the issue of the latter the ship-owner will usually
hold the goods on the terms of his usual bill of lading, and this is sometimes expressly
provided for in the mate's receipt.

Evidentiary Value of the Receipt

Disputes between ship-owner and cargo-owner arise perhaps most frequently over
the question whether goods have been delivered short, or have been damaged during
carriage. It is here that the statements about the goods appearing in the bill of lading
become very important. The obligation on the carrier is obviously to deliver what he
received as he received it, but just as obviously the next question is - and this
presents the real difficulty - on whom does the law place the burden of proof? Since
the goods' owner claims that the goods were not delivered as received it is for him to
prove this contention, and he can do so most easily by referring to the carrier's receipt
for the goods, namely, the bill of lading.

Now a receipt is prima facie evidence of the truth of the statements, which it
contains. If the person who issued it claims that it is wrong, it is for him to prove the
error. The carrier, therefore, who delivers to the cargo-owner a smaller number of
packages, or a less weight of goods than was acknowledged in the bill of lading, or
goods torn and dirty when he had issued a bill of lading which had made no mention
of such defect on receipt, will find it very difficult to resist a claim for damages. In
order to do so successfully he must prove affirmatively that the bill of lading was
wrong - that he delivered all he received, or that the goods were torn and dirty when
received on board the ship. Such proof may be very difficult and expensive,
involving perhaps the taking of evidence in a foreign port; it may indeed be
unobtainable, in which case liability is effectively established and the carrier can only
escape if he can find protection in one of the exceptions applicable to his contract.

Now that we have looked at the basis upon which and the contexts within which the
bill of lading is considered to be a binding receipt, we shall turn our attention to a
number of special related aspects.

Statements as to Quantity

Non-Shipped and Partially Shipped Goods

The student by now would appreciate that the reason why a cargo-owner can sue the
ship-owner on the basis of bill of lading statements as to quantity is that the bill is
considered to be a binding receipt or acknowledgement as to shipment on board the
carrier's ship. The bill becomes the carrier's receipt as a result of the master's
signature: the assumption throughout is that the master acts within the scope of his
authority in signing the bill and that therefore the master's bill is the owner's bill.

'Weight and Quantity Unknown' Clauses

We have seen that the binding force, which gives value to the receipt function of the bill
of lading has been a feature of the document for a very long period. Consequently,
carriers have for many years made a practice of inserting in the bill of lading some such
term as 'weight and quantity unknown', indicating that the statement as to quantity
appearing on the face of the bill is not to be relied upon and thus taking the teeth out of
the binding force of the document.

The result at common law is clear: the inclusion of these words in the bill of lading very
largely destroys its value as a receipt, except in so far as it remains evidence that some
goods have been shipped, goods said by the shipper to amount to the figure mentioned in
the bill of lading, but in respect of which the carrier makes no admission as to quantity or
weight. The result is that the burden of proving what actually was shipped is shifted back
to the shipper.

Apparent Order and Condition Clean Bills of Lading

Bills of lading normally start with the admission that the goods they cover have been
shipped in 'apparent good order and condition'. The effect of this representation, where
unqualified, is to raise a prima facie presumption that the goods were so shipped where
the shipper sues the carrier for delivery of damaged goods, and to raise an irrebuttable
presumption to that effect where endorsees who have acted to their detriment on the faith
of the statement sue the carrier for delivery of damaged goods. Where a carrier issues a
clean bill in circumstances properly calling for a claused bill, any indemnity extracted
from the shipper in consideration for the issue of a clean bill is unenforceable. The
admission can, of course, apply only to the outward appearance of the goods, since the
carrier has no means of judging their internal condition and quality; and the courts have
held this to be the correct view of the matter.

Moreover, it is also possible for the carrier to qualify his admission by entering a note of
anything appearing to be wrong with the goods at the time when they are shipped, e.g.
'two packages torn and dirty'. When a bill of lading contains a qualification of this kind it
is said to be 'claused'; without such a statement it is said to be clean.!'

Although it is possible for carriers so to clause their bills as to qualify their statement
about the apparent good order and condition of the cargo, such a qualification needs to be
very specific in terms if it is to achieve the result desired by the carrier.

The Bill of Lading as Evidence of Contract with the Carrier

We have seen above that the original function of the bill of lading was that of a
receipt. The bill of lading then became the document in which the terms of the
contract were set out. It should be noticed that the bill of lading is only evidence of
the, contract between ship-owner and shipper, not the contract itself.

Moreover, terms actually contained in the bill of lading may be varied orally, and
such variations are enforceable. All this, however, applies only between the
immediate parties to the contract, carrier and shipper. Third parties, such as
consignees or their assignees, who acquire rights by way of endorsement of the bills
of lading, are entitled and required" to assume that it contains within its four corners
either all the terms of the contract or at any rate references to other documents where
such terms may be found.

It is, of course, obvious that once the bill is issued the terms of the bill of lading operate.
But the question arises whether it should not also have retrospective effect. The contract
of affreightment, which the bill evidence is concluded long before its issue. Scarce
shipping space must be booked long in advance, and pressure of work at the shipping
office may delay the issue of the bill of lading until after the ship has sailed. During that
interval shipper and ship-owner have to perform many operations under the contract,
which give rise to rights and liabilities. Under the contract cargo is provided in time for
loading, the cargo is taken on board and stowed - but on what terms?


In one case goods were damaged while being hoisted on board from the quay, and the
ship-owner invoked a limitation of liability clause applicable under the Hague Rules to
the bill of lading. The owner of the goods strongly objected because the bill had not yet
been issued, but the judge held that its terms nevertheless applied.

'When parties enter into a contract of carriage in the expectation that a bill of lading will
be issued to cover it they enter into it upon the terms which they know or expect the bill of
lading to contain. Those terms must be in force from the inception of the contract; if it
were otherwise the bill of lading would not evidence the contract but would be a
variation of it.'

The Bill of Lading as a Document of Title

It was early found convenient to use a copy of the bill of lading as a document ordering
delivery of the goods at the port of discharge. This came about in the following way.
Originally, merchants travelled with their goods on board the same vessel, but when they

ceased to do so it became necessary to devise some means by which the carrier could be
enabled to deliver the goods to the proper person. The simplest thing was to send a copy
of the bill of lading under separate cover so to speak, and even by a different ship if there
was a faster one going, to the shipper's agent at the port of delivery. Eventually, when
goods were shipped direct to buyers, the bill of lading was sent to them and the buyers
were made consignees of the goods.

In the bill of lading, therefore, the carrier began to agree to carry the goods, say to
Antwerp, and there deliver them not only (a) to the shipper but, alternatively (b) to
the shipper's order, so that the shipper could, by endorsing on the document an
order that the goods should be delivered to the buyer, enable the latter to get the
goods himself; or (c) to a named consignee. These three options shared the common
feature that the bill operated as a document entitling delivery only in favour of the
shipper or the shipper's buyer.

Practical Guidance

Signing bills of lading

One of the most important functions of a bill of lading is that it provides information as to
the description of the goods, the condition of the goods, the quantity of the goods, the
loading port and date of shipment, the discharge port, the name of the ship, whether
freight has been paid and the terms of carriage. As these functions are essential to trade it
is important that information given in a bill of lading is accurate. Failure to ensure
accuracy can give rise to liability of the ship owner.

The essential rule is that in no circumstances, other than those described at paragraph
11(a), should the master sign a document which he knows to be untrue, or which he
believes may be untrue, or where he has not given careful thought to the facts contained it

The following matters are important. If the master cannot contact the ship-owner or
obtain guidance from it, the following general principles should be applied.

The master must ensure that the information on the bill of lading agrees with that on the
mate’s receipt(s).

The master must check the facts about the cargo. It would be unusual for the master or
the ship’s agent to prepare the bills of lading. The bill of lading is usually prepared by the
shipper or the shipper’s agent. It is accordingly essential for the master to check the
information about the cargo in the bill of lading. The master will not know all of the facts
about the cargo that appear on the bill of lading which he is being asked to sign. This
problem is dealt with specially in the section entitled ‘Information in the bill of lading “

The master must check the facts about the voyage. If the place or date of loading is
incorrect, or if the discharge port is outside the Charter party range, the master should
refuse to sign.

It is recognized that refusal to sign is not always safe or practical. Where in this practical
guidance section of the book the master is advised to refuse to sign, he should refer to
paragraph 11 for guidance.

Information in the bill of lading

This section deals with ways of describing the cargo and the voyage. It is intended to give
the master guidance where he is unable to obtain guidance from the ship-owners. It may
also assist the master in identifying what is a usual and what is an unusual situation.
Some of the information in the bill of lading is within the mater’s knowledge, for
example the port of shipment, the date of completion of loading of the parcel described in
the bill of lading or the date of issue of the bill of lading. If these facts are not correct the
master should refuse to sign the bill of lading.

Some information in the bill of lading may not be within the precise knowledge of the
master, for example the quantity or weight or the actual condition of the goods loaded.
The following rules may assist.


The master should if possible add the words ‘Shipper’s figures’ or ‘shore figures’ to any
statement as to quantity or weight on the bill of lading.

If the master does not know the weight or quantity loaded (because there has been no
opportunity for a tally or an accurate draught survey) then the words ‘weight and quantity
unknown’ should be written alongside the figure.

If the ship has its own figures and these differ from those in the ;bill of lading, then the
ship’s figures should be written alongside the shipper’s figures and/or the words ‘weight
and quantity unknown’ added.

If in situation (iii) the master is not permitted to add the ship’s figures and if the
difference between the shipper’s figures and the ship’s figures is more than could
reasonably be explained by the practical imprecision of draught surveys or tallying then
the master should refuse to sign the bill of lading. If the difference is small he should
follow (ii) above.


Usually the master only knows the apparent condition of the cargo. Accordingly if he can
see no apparent problem with the goods when loaded he should mark the bill of lading
‘received in apparent good order and condition’.

If the master can see that the goods are damaged in some way then he should say so. A
more difficult question is where the master thinks that the goods may be defective or
substandard, for example because they appear dirty, mixed with foreign particles or
debris, or are discoloured or odorous. If such comments are appropriate he should do his
best to explain in ordinary language in writing on the face of the bill of lading what he
believes is wrong with the condition of the cargo. If he requires to add an additional sheet
of paper then he should state (in writing on the bill of lading) how many sheets of paper
are attached to each bill of lading. He should seek guidance from the P &I club or its
local correspondent or agent or from a surveyor as to the precise wording to be used.

It is always useful to describe the nature of the packaging of goods, for example ‘in paper
bags’ or in polythene sacks’. If these are torn or damaged the bill of lading should say so,
such as ‘about 457 bags torn’. If only a rough estimate can be made of the quantity
damaged, however, this should be started, for example ‘about 10% torn’ or about 5000
bags damaged’. Whether it ;is on the basis of a tally or estimate, the master must have
evidence to support his remarks.

Special clauses are often used, for example for timber or steel cargoes, and if possible the
ship-owner or the P & I club correspondent should be consulted.

Quantity and condition

The words ‘weight, measure, quantity, condition, contents and value unknown’ are useful
and desirable words to add to a bill of lading if they are not already part of the printed


The master need not describe the quality of the cargo.

For the avoidance of doubt the master should place his signature and/or the ship’s stamp
at the foot of the bill of lading only.

Specific situations

Freight / hire / demurrage / liens

The master may be worried that a bill of lading presented to him does not give the ship-
owner sufficient protection in terms of freight, hire or demurrage, or liens for any of
those, or he may be worried about other terms of carriage. These are all matters for the
ship-owner or its P &I club to consider. The master should always check with the ship
owner’s managers as to whether they requires protective terms to be added, but leave the
decision to them.

Deck cargo

Except in purpose-built container ships or in special trades where cargo is customarily
carried on deck, carriage of cargo on deck should always be checked with the ship-owner.
Where cargo is carried on deck it is essential to state on the face of the bill of lading that
cargo is being carried on deck. It is for the master to check with the ship-owner to ensure
that such carriage is permissible.

How many bills of lading to be signed?

The master should check with the shipper and with the Charter-party. He should also
check the terms of the bills of adding themselves as they may show the number to be
issued. There is no general rule as to what number should or must be issued for a parcel
of cargo.

Blending / co-mingling of oil cargoes

Oil cargoes are unusual in that charterers and traders may wish to co-mingle cargoes
shipped from different ports on different dates, and often with different specifications.

If cargoes shipped from separate ports, on separate dates and/or of separate origins are
co-mingled, then complications arise as to the accurate description of the port of
shipment date of shipment and type of cargo in the bills of lading. Further problem may
arise at the discharge port if the cargo mixed in the tanks no longer resembles the cargo
described in one more of the original bills of lading.

Wherever there is co-mingling of cargo shipped on different dates from different ports
and of different types, it is essential that the ship owner’s instructions are obtained before
bills of lading are issued. If the ship owner’s instructions cannot be obtained the master
should refuse to sign and should explain his reasons for doing so by reference to (b)

Letter of indemnity

It is not for a master to agree to sign a bill of lading in return for a letter of indemnity.
That is for the ship-owner to decide. If it better for the master to follow the steps at
paragraph 11 than to accept a letter of indemnity without the ship owner’s authority.

Refusal to sign

In circumstances where the master feels that he should refuse to sign a bill of lading he
should seek guidance from the ship-owner or from the P & I club or its correspondent. If
no guidance can be obtained, the following general principles should be applied.

If the refusal of the master to sign a document is met with physical threats or coercion
against the ship or her master or crew, then the master should sign the document. When

the vessel has sailed and upon reaching a position of safety, the master (or the ship-
owner, if it is now the contact with the master) may give notice of protest to all parties
and authorities concerned to the effect that the document has been signed under duress
and the ship-owner and the master consider themselves not bound by the master’s
signature. Of course thought must be given as to whether the ship, master or any sister
ship is likely to return to this dangerous regime).

Sometimes legal pressure will be exerted on the master to sign. The most common
example will be where the ship is operating under a Charter-party. The Charter-party may
list the master’s obligations with regard to signing bills of lading. For example he may
have to sign bills of lading ‘as presented. This and similar expressions do not mean that
the master must sign any bills of lading whatever its terms. The master ca refuse to sign a
bill of lading ‘as presented if it.

However, if the master is required by the Charter-party to sign bills of lading ‘as
presented’ he should not refuse to sign a bill of lading simply because it is marked, for
example ‘liner out’, or because it contains some foreign jurisdiction clause. These are not
facts but terms of the shipper or charterer’s trade. They are matters for the ship-owner to
argue about with the charterer if necessary. It the master is requested to sign ‘freight pre-
paid bills of lading his position is slightly less clear.

Sometimes commercial pressure will be exerted on the master to sign in circumstances
where he should, as advised above, refuse to sign. It is for the ship-owner to make
commercial decisions in response to such pressure. The ship-owner may wish to
negotiate, take the commercial risk or accept a letter of indemnity. The master, however
does not have these options. He should maintain his refusal to sign. Delay to the vessel or
other consequences of threats made by the shipper or charterer may then perhaps be
avoided by the following steps.

The mater should sign the document in the form that he is prepared to give. For example,
in the case of a bill of lading where the quantity or description of the cargo is in dispute,
the master should sign a bill of lading showing the quantity or description which he
considers being accurate. The bill of lading should be left with the ship’s agent (and a
protecting agent appointed for this purpose if possible). Notice can then be given that a
bill of lading for the cargo has been signed and issued and is available for collection.

Alternatively, the master should give notice that he has given authority to the ship’s
protecting agent to sign bills of lading on his behalf subject to instructions and approval
from the ship-owner when available.

The master should not sign bills of lading in blank.

Where any person coming on board insists that the mater takes delivery of a document
from them he should mark it for receipt only.

P & I club cover

It is important to understand that signing a document, and in particular a bill of lading,
which contains incorrect information can expose the ship to liabilities which it would not
otherwise face. In addition to facing those liabilities, the ship-owner may lose the
protection of its P & I insurance if inaccurate bills of lading are signed and expose.

Delivering the cargo at discharge port

The master can deliver the cargo to the holder of a ‘bearer’ bill of lading. If a bill of
lading shows a named consignee or named endorsee the person demanding delivery of
the cargo must provide some evidence that it is the person identified in the bill of lading.
As the bill of lading would usually be presented through the ship owner’s or time
charterers’ agents which are local to and familiar with the discharge port, the master
probably need only be worried about identification of the person demanding delivery if
the master has actual reasons for believing there has been fraud, that the bill of lading
may have been stolen that the person is not entitled to claim the goods or if he has been
notified of a competing claim for the goods.

The problems which usually arise are where:

No bill of lading is available at the discharge port
Delivery of cargo is requested at a port, which is not the named discharge port

In the absence of clear guidance from the ship-owners or the local P & I correspondent,
the master should take of the following points:

The unavailability of a bill of lading at the discharge port is not the master’s
problem. It is the problem of the buyers and sellers of the cargo.
The master should not agree to discharge the cargo against a letter of indemnity
(unless the ship-owner has expressly agreed to this).
Delay to the vessel while waiting for the bill of lading will usually be paid for
under the Charter-party in the form of hire or demurrage (or as part of the
Laytime which has been paid for in the freight payment). Even if the vessel is
threatened with the cost of the delay, that threat should nor justify delivery of the
cargo without production of the bill of lading or at the wrong port.
Delivery without production of the bill of lading or at the wrong port, will be a
breach of the terms of the ship owner’s P & I insurance and there will be no
insurance if in consequence a claim is subsequently brought by the ‘true’ cargo
In some jurisdictions ;the cargo can be discharged (At the named discharge port)
into the custody of the port or a private warehouse where it will remain under the
legal control of the mater until the bill of lading has been produced. The master
should investigate this, if possible through the P & I correspondent.

Specific issues

Letter of indemnity

The giving of letters of indemnity in return for delivery of cargo at the wrong discharge
port or without production of the original bill of lading is not wrong nor is it unusual. It is
however, a matter for the ship-owner to decide upon. It is a commercial decision for it to
make and one which it will make taking into consideration the fact that it may have no P
& I cover as a consequence of doing so.
Recommended standard letters of indemnity are included in the appendices, to sign an
indemnity for unquantified amounts. Frequently therefore the letter is accepted without a
bank’s counter-signature. Alternatively a limit (e.g. 150% of the value of the cargo)n is
placed on the bank’s liability under the letter. Again, these are commercial decisions for
the ship-owner to take.

Photocopy or faxed bills of lading

Sometimes the master is asked to deliver against a copy or faced bill of lading the
original being unavailable. Unless special arrangements have been in writing by the ship-
owner to accept such a bill of lading, delivery should be refused. The usual rule is that
delivery shall be given against presentation of at least one original bill of lading.

Multiple originals

Bills of lading are often issued in sets of three or four originals. The bill of lading will
usually provide on its face that production of any one of those originals will be
acceptable. At the same time, the other original are considered to be void and cancelled.

Retention of the original bill of lading

The master should retain the original bill of lading against which cargo has been
delivered. However originals are sometimes required by local officials or customs and in
those circumstances the master should ensure that he (or his agent) is allowed to see the
original bill of lading and that he is allowed to retain a photocopy of the front and reverse
side of the original. This should if possible be certified by the receiver or his agent as
follows. “This is certified to be a true copy of the original bill of lading which is now

More than one person demanding delivery of the cargo

This situation may arise where:

No bills of lading are available at the discharge port
More than one set of bills of lading has been placed in circulation, all or some of
which are unauthorized.

The original shipper has parted with the bills of lading and is asserting that the
holder has not complied with its obligations under the sale contract for example it
has somehow acquired the bills of lading without making payment.

Each of the situation places the mater (and the ship-owner) in a very difficult position and
can give rise to complex legal issues and may involve complex commercial and legal
solutions. The best advice that can be given to the master, if he cannot obtain guidance
from the ship-owner is as set out in paragraph 17.

Change of destination during voyage

Sometimes the master may be asked to change destination during the voyage and to
proceed to a discharge port other than that named in the bill of lading. That is a matter for
the ship-owner to give instructions upon. In the absence of clear guidance from the ship-
owner or the local P & I correspondent, the master should take note of the following.
Even if the governing Charter-party gives a range of discharge ports, once a bill of
lading has been issued naming a discharge port, that destination should be treated as if
written into the Charter-party.

So far as the bill of lading holder is concerned, the diversion of the vessel to a different
discharge port will be a deviation the consequences of which can be serious for the

Promises by a party seeking to change the destination (be it charterer, shipper or receiver)
that it holds all the original bills of lading or that the parties holding the bills of lading
have agreed to the change, may at best be meaningless and at worst untrue. If such parties
are genuinely in a position to make proper arrangements for the change of destination
then they should be in a position to provide a letter of indemnity (see (D) below)
including an undertaking for the return of all the original bills of lading.

As stated at paragraphs 18 and 19 the provision of letter of indemnity in return for
delivery of cargo at a different destination is not unusual. However the standard wording
for a change of destination letter of indemnity (See appendix iv) expressly provides for
the return of all of the original bills of lading and any letter of indemnity which omits this
fundamental provision should be regarded as inadequate and rejected.

Atypical bill of lading – the BIMCO Congenbill

The standard BIMCO congenbill has been selected because of its widespread use. Each
item in he bill of lading has been marked with an orange number which refers to the
relevant paragraph number in the text below. Although many of the terms and conditions
shown on the reverse of the bill of lading are relatively short and simple compared with
those of a more detailed liner or combined transport bill, the essential information
contained in the congenbill is typical of all bills of lading.


The shipper will frequently be the party which prepares the bill of lading and supplies
much of the information to go in it. This information must be checked carefully. Where
the Hague, Hague-Visby or Hamburg Rules apply compulsorily the shipper is entitled to
have a bill of lading giving certain information issued to it upon shipment of the cargo.
The shipper is under an obligation to provide accurate information and if any of that
information is inaccurate and leads to liability of the carrier, then in certain circumstances
the shipper can be liable to indemnity the carrier.


Movement of the bill of lading under the sale contract

The goods are on board and the bill of lading has been signed. What happens next in the
sales transaction, and in particular, what happens to the bill of lading?

The information contained in this section is not primarily the concern of the master. It is a
matter between the seller of the goods (often the shipper) and the intended buyer or
buyers. Depending upon the nature ;of the underlying sales transaction, typical entries in
the consignee box may be the words ‘bearer’ or ‘holder’ it may name a consignee; it may
show the words to order with or without the name of the consignee or the box may
simply be left blank. Each of these affects the transferability of the bill of lading and with
it, control over the delivery of the goods. They are not matters which should trouble the
master at the time of issue of the bill of lading.
What happens to the bill of lading?

The answer in that now the goods are on the move, it is time for the documents to move.

The bill of lading will go with other documents to form a complete set of shipping
documents. The shipping documents will usually comprise:

The bill of lading issued by the master or his agent as discussed earlier
The marine insurance policy insuring the goods against loss of damage on the
The commercial invoice.

There are the main documents. Others may include:

A certificate of quality/quantity
A certificate of origin

To explain the letter of credit system very briefly where the contract of sale provides for
payment ;by letter of credit the buyer will arrange for its bank to open a credit (a promise
to pay) in favour of the seller for the price of the goods. The bank is called the issuing

bank. The issuing bank will then contract its correspondent bank in the country where the
seller is based and this bank will either ‘advise’ the seller that the letter of credit has been
opened and that the issuing bank will pay upon receipt of the shipping documents, or it
will ‘confirm’ first instance acting as an ‘advising bank’ and in the second instance as a
‘confirming bank’ in which case it is confirming to the seller that it the confirming bank
will pay upon receipt from the buyer instructions which show the documents required by
the sale contract. When the shipping document are delivered to the advising or
confirming bank, they will be examined to make sure that they comply with the
instructions under the sale contract, and the seller will be paid either directly by the
confirming bank or in due course by the issuing bank (via the advising bank).

As the bill of lading passes through the hands of these banks it represents security for any
money they may have advanced on the goods and can be held by them until the buyer has
satisfied his obligations to the issuing bank.

When the bill of lading is in the hands of the buyer he will contact the ship owner or
charterer’s agent at the discharge port and demand delivery of the goods to him.
Alternatively he may wish to sell the cargo to another party in which case the bill of
lading will again be used in this next transaction as a receipt (showing what the new
buyer is buying) as a document of title (giving control to the new buyer in return for
payment) and as a contract of carriage with the new buyer who will acquire legal rights
against the ship-owner.

The master must deliver the cargo to the person holding the bill of lading at the named
discharge port. The carrier can deliver the cargo to the holder of a ‘bearer’ bill of lading

The person demanding delivery of the cargo must provide some evidence that it is the
person identified in the bill of lading. As the bill of lading would usually be presented
through the ship-owner or time charterer’s agents who are local to and familiar with the
discharge port the master probably need only be worried about identification of the
person demanding delivery if the master has actual reasons for believing there is some
reasonably ground for suspecting that the person is not entitled to claim the goods, or if
the master has been notified of a competing claim for the goods.

By way of background information it may be useful briefly to explain the legal and
commercial mechanism by which the bill of lading, and therefore the right to receive or
control receipt of the goods, passes from person to person.


If the bill of lading shows
Shipper : X
consignee: to order

Then the shipper has the power to endorse the bill of lading and give orders as to whom
the cargo should be delivered. An endorsement is simply the signature of the shipper on

the back of the bill of lading. An endorsement in blank is the signature of the shipper
alone. This means that any person to whom the bill of lading is intentionally passed can
claim to be the proper holder of the bill of lading. A special endorsement is where the
shipper wishes to direct the ship-owner to deliver to a particular person. In that case, the
shipper puts his signature and the name of the intended recipient on the bill of lading.

If the bill of lading shows
Shipper : X
Consignee: Y

Then the bill of lading can be consigned (that is physically passed) to Y who then
becomes the proper holder of the bill of lading. However because the bill of lading gives
no expressed power to ‘order’ delivery, neither X or Y can endorse the bill of lading to
any other party either by blank endorsement or by special endorsement. This kind of bill
is sometimes called a ‘straight’ or ‘non-negotiable’ bill of lading and in many respects is
similar to a sea waybill.

If the bill of lading shows
Sipper : X
Consignee: Y or to order

Then the bill of lading can be consigned to Y as in (b) above. However if Y wishes he
can then endorse it, in blank or by special endorsement, to any other party who will then
become the proper holder. That party cannot hen endorse in further.

If in situation (c) above a special endorsement on the bill of lading shows ‘Z’ or order’,
then that endorsee can further endorse the bill of lading.

If the bill of lading shows
Shipper : X
Consignee: bearer (or left blank)

Then the holder of this bill of lading is the person to whom cargo is to be delivered. The
bill of lading can move from person to person by simple consignment (that is by being
physically passed from person to person).

All of the above are genera rules and are determined by what is written in the consignee
box in the bill of lading. These general rules may be varied by express terms on the bill of
lading stipulating how it is to be transferred.

The voyage delivery loss and damage to cargo

The ship has been loaded and bills of lading issued. The shipping documents should now
be working their way through the sale and accompanying finance transactions. The
master is now under a duty to carry the cargo safely to destination by the usual

geographical route, to care for the cargo en route, and to deliver the cargo in the same
condition as when loaded to the person rightfully entitled to receive the cargo.

These obligations are essentially contractual in nature – the master by receiving the
shipper’s goods on board agrees to carry them safely to their destination. This basic
promise is usually embodied in the bill of lading and may be modified by one or more of
the various sources of obligations. To be precise the bill of lading is not the contract of
carriage. The agreement to carry the goods has usually been made before the goods have
been taken on board. However it is usually been made before the goods have been taken
on board. However it is usually the document which provides the best evidence of the
terms of the contract of carriage. Furthermore as against a consignee or endorsee, the bill
of lading as drawn will be treated as the complete contract in any dispute with the ship-

The duty to carry

The master is expected to proceed from the load port to the discharge port without delay
and without departure from the usual geographical route. If he fails to do so then this may
amount to a deviation from the contractual voyage. The word deviation is a legal
expression which requires further explanation.


Deviation in its legal sense is an unjustified departure from the contractual voyage. The
general rule is that the contractual voyage will follow the usual geographical route. This
general rule may not apply if it can be shown that

There is a universal custom to follow another route
That the circumstances surrounding the voyage made it clear that the intention of
the parties was that some other route should be taken
If the bill of lading expressly describes what route is to be taken or gives the ship
owner liberty to select alternative routes even if this means departing from the
usual geographical route
If it is necessary for the ship to leave the contractual route for reasons of the
safety of the venture
If one of the sources of obligation listed in paragraph 58 permits diversion, for
example the Hague-Visby Rules permit deviation to save life or property or any
reasonable deviation

Where the ship departs from the contractual voyage without justification the
consequences of this deviation in legal terms are very drastic. In very broad terms, the
ship owner will be deprived of its contractual rights (for example, to receive freight and
to enjoy defences expressly given to it by the contract) and in addition may prejudice its
insurance cover.

It is therefore important to realize that instructions to take the cargo to any destination
other than that named in the bill of loading, even when those instructions are given by
characters or shippers who may appear to have very good reason for giving those
instructions, should be related with the utmost caution. In every circumstances where
such instructions is given, the ship owner of the P & I association should consult.

Change in destination

Some times a change of destination can be agreed. The essential ingredient of such
agreement is that the party giving the order for change of destination must be in a
position to return the complete set of original bills of lading at the discharge port. This is
essential because if one or more of those originals is now in the hands of another holder
then that person may call upon the ship owner changes destination and discharges the
cargo at a new destination without collecting in all of the bills, then at some time in the
future any uncollected bill may form the basis of a claim by its holder for mis-delivery.
This is why in the standard recommended wording for the letter of indemnity to be given
by a charterer or the bill of lading holder for change of destination, there is an absolute
undertaking to return all sets of the original bills of lading.

Some bills of lading for example, the congenbill, provide that the vessel shall proceed to
a port or so near thereto as she may safely get. This may ultimately give the master the
right to carry the cargo to another discharge port if the vessel is prevented from reaching
the named discharge port. However the master is bound to wait a reasonable time before
he is entitled to proceed to an alternative place of discharge and that reasonable time will
depend upon the nature of the voyage. It is a matter to be decided between the ship owner
and the charterer or shipper after careful consultation.


Delay in proceeding to the discharge port may cause loss to the buyer of the goods. Delay
may also amount to a deviation in the legal sense. However simple failure to commence
the loaded voyage and proceed as quickly as possible is not a deviation in the legal sense.
To amount to a deviation in the legal sense delay which makes the voyage performed
entirely different from that which the parties envisaged would be performed would have
to occur.

It is not the function of this guide to set out a detailed analysis on the complex law of
deviation. The purpose of this short section is to emphasise the importance of proceeding
directly from the load port to the discharge port as named in the bill of lading unless there
is very good reason by reason of contract, custom safety or agreement, to do otherwise.

One final note on delay. The Hamburg Rules if applicable have express provisions
dealing with delay (see paragraph 83 and appendix VII, Article 5 of the rules).

Caring for the cargo

At common law the ship owner is under an absolute obligation to provide a seaworthy
ship. A seaworthy ship is one is which her hull and machinery, equipment and crew are
fit to take the cargo to sea and come safely through the kind of weather that she should
expect to meet. If the ship owner fails in this obligation and the failure causes damage to
the cargo, then the cargo. Under the Hague and Hague-Visby Rules this absolute
obligation is reduced to an obligation to exercise due diligence to make the vessel
seaworthy. Due diligence means taking care to ensure a proper, efficient and effective
system to maintain, equip and repair the ship, hull and equipment and to ensure the
proper training and competence of her master and crew. If a proper and careful check
reveals a defect which a normal careful ship owner would repair, but the defect is not
repaired then there has been a failure by that ship owner to exercise due diligence to
make its ship seaworthy.

In addition to the seaworthiness obligations, the ship owner must care for the cargo from
the time of its receipt into the ship owner’s care until the time of its delivery at the
discharge port. Essentially this means taking care to ensure that what has been put on
board the vessel at the load port can be delivered at the load port can be delivered at the
discharge port. It is a duty to ensure that the cargo is not lost, damaged, contaminated or
changed in character in any way.

As between the ship owner and the cargo owner the bill of lading may set out a period for
which the ship owner is responsible for caring for the cargo and identify who is to be
responsible and pay for loading and discharge operations. These are of course matters of
great concern to the ship owner and cargo owner alike. They are often dealt with by
phrases such as FIOST (Free in and out stowed and trimmed) FIOS and FIO (shorter
versions of FIOST and of diminishing scope) and by expressions such as liner in liner out
or ‘free in free out’. All of these expressions. It is important however for the master to be
aware of expressions or abbreviations such as these. If any such abbreviation is used
which clearly goes to the allocation of loading and discharging responsibility (or indeed
any abbreviation which is unknown to the master) then these are matters which he should
report and discuss with the ship owner as soon as possible.

Cargo claims

The law recognizes that goods, wherever and however they are handled, stored or
transported can come to harm. Where the goods have been physically lost or damaged
during the voyage the contract of carriage, and the laws and conventions within which it
operates, allocate risk and liability between the ship owner and the cargo owner. (the ship
owner’s risk and liability may also have been allocated between it and its charterer, but
that is not a matter for this guide).

The ship owner’s defences

Where there is proof of loss or damage on the ship, then at common law the ship owner
has a limited number of defences. It will not be excused from liability if it failed to make
the ship seaworthy. It will be excused from liability at common law if damage to the
cargo was directly caused by act of God act of Queen’s enemies, inherent vice of the
goods themselves negligence of the cargo owner or general average sacrifice.

Evidence of damage or loss the bill of lading

One very difficult question when cargo claims arise is whether the loss or damage
complained of by the cargo owner happened on the ship, if it happened at all. For
example, shortage claims can arise simply because of differences between recorded
measurements at he load and discharge ports, damage claims can arise where the cargo
discharged is the same as that loaded, but the description of the cargo in the bill of lading
failed to draw the buyer’s attention to existing defects in the cargo.

Both of these examples, shortage and damage claims, can de directly affected by the care
which has been taken when issuing the bill of lading. Care in measuring and observing
the cargo, and care in describing its quantity and condition on the bill of lading can avoid
or reduce the size of these claims.

The bill of lading contains important evidence of these facts and figures. If a bill of
lading is issued which contains inaccurate information there is little opportunity for the
carrier to say the information is not true. As a matter of law all of the descriptions stated
in the bill of lading will be evidence in the hands of any cargo owner who says his goods
have been damaged. In particular note the following.

Under the Hauge Rules, and probably as a matter of common law, the bill of lading
represents ‘prima facie evidence’ of the facts stated in the bill of lading. The cargo owner
can use this evidence to prove his claim against the carrier. The Hague- Visby Rules add
more weighty to this evidence by adding that in the hands of a transferee or endorsee of
the bill of lading (usually the buyer of the cargo) it is ‘conclusive evidence’ of the fact
that shipment has taken place the time and place of that shipment, and the number,
quantity, weight, marks and apparent order and condition of the goods.

A third category of loss is where the cargo has been safely carried to its destination but
then delivered to the wrong person. This question of delivery is a separate and important
issue and is dealt with the next section of this guide.

Delivery of the cargo

The bill of lading is often referred to as a document of title. In fact the movement of title
(the right of ownership of the cargo) is decided by the sale contract. However, if the
parties to the sale contract require a bill of lading to be issued they are using it as a

movable (or negotiable) and tangible symbol of title to the cargo or, more accurately, the
right to control receipt of the cargo at its destination.

The master must deliver the cargo to the person holding the bill of lading at the named
discharge port. The carrier can deliver the cargo to the holder of a ‘bearer’ bill of lading
(see paragraph 185 (e). if a bill of lading shows a consignee or named endorsee (see
paragraphs 185(a)- (d) the person demanding delivery of the cargo must provide some
evidence to the carrier that he is the person identified in the bill of lading. As the bill of
lading would usually be presented through the ship owner’s or time charterer’s agents
who are local to and familiar with the discharge port, the master probably need only be
worried about identification ;of the person fraud, that the bill of lading may have been
stolen that the person is not entitled to claim the goods, or if he has been notified of a
competing claim for the goods,

The problems which usually arise are where no bill of lading is available at the discharge
port. Delivery of cargo is requested at a port which is not the named discharge port.

Delivery of cargo without production of the bill of lading

Delivery of the cargo to a person who does not hold a bill of lading is a breach of the bill
of lading contract itself and the holder of the bill of lading can bring a claim against the
ship-owner. Such delivery is also an infringing those rights. (the cargo owner can also of
course, bring a claim against the party who has wrongfully demanded delivery of the
cargo). Similarly delivery at the wrong port is not only a deviation under the contract of
carriage but is also an infringement of the true cargo owner’s rights if this is done in
circumstances where the agreement to change destination has not been accompanied by
the return of all of the original bills of lading.

Some of the comments that follow appear in the practical guidance section of this guide.
Those comments are here augmented by further explanation and legal notes.

In the absence of clear guidance from the owner or the P & I club correspondent the
master should take care note of the following points:

The unavailability of a bill of lading at the discharge port is not the master’s
problem. It is the problem of the buyers and sellers of the cargo
The master should not agree to discharge the cargo against a letter of indemnity
(unless the ship-owner has expressly agreed to this). The master does not have
authority on behalf of the ship-owner to vary the bill of lading contract in this way
Delay to the vessel while waiting for the bill of lading will usually be paid for
under the Charter-party in the form of hire or demurrage (or as part of the
Laytime which has been paid for in the freight payment). Even if the vessel is
threatened with the cost of the delay, that threat should not justify delivery of the
cargo without production of the bill of lading or at the wrong port

Delivery without production of the bill of lading, or at the wrong port, will be a
breach of the terms of the ship owner’s P & I insurance and there may be no
brought by the ‘true’ cargo owner
In some jurisdictions the cargo can be discharged (at the named discharge port)
into the custody of the port or a private warehouse where it will remain under the
legal control of the master until the bill of lading has been produced. The master
should investigate this, if possible through the P & I club correspondent

Specific issues

Letters of indemnity

Unlike letters of indemnity given in return for issuing clean bills of lading (which are
unenforceable as the bill of lading will deceive its holders), the giving of letters of
indemnity in return for delivery of cargo at the wrong discharge port or without
production of the original bill of lading is not wrong nor is it unusual. It is however a
matter for the ship-owner to decide upon. It is a commercial decision for it to make. The
desire to satisfy a charterer or receiver, and to free the vessel, must be balanced against
the loss of P & I cover and the risk that the cargo may have been sold twice.

Standard letters of indemnity for these situations appear at appendices and III. These
standard forms show counter-signature by a bank. Banks are rarely prepared to sign an
indemnity for unquantified amounts. Frequently, therefore, the letter is accepted without
a bank’s counter-signature. Alternatively a limit (e.g. 150% of the value of the cargo) is
placed on the bank’s liability under the letter. Again, these are commercial decisions for
the ship-owner to take.

Photocopy or faxed bills of lading

Sometimes the master is asked to deliver against a copy or faxed bill of lading, the
original being unavailable. Unless special arrangements have been made in writing by the
ship-owner to accept such a bill of lading, delivery should be refused. The usual rule is
that delivery shall be given against presentation of at least one original bill of lading.

Multiple originals

Bills of lading are often issued in sets of three or four originals. The bill of lading will
usually provide on its face that production of any one of those originals, will be
acceptable. At the same time the other originals are considered to be void and cancelled.

Retention of the original bill of lading

The master should retain the original bill of lading against which cargo has been
delivered. The receiver should have no need to retain it as a contract of carriage it is
merely evidence and a copy will suffice, as a document of control its function is now

complete as a receipt for the good it makes sense that it should be returned to the master
when the goods are delivered.

However originals are sometimes required by local officials or customs and in those
circumstances the master should ensure that he (or his agent) is allowed to see the
original bill of lading and that he is allowed to retain a photocopy of the receiver or his
agent as follows: this is certified to be a true copy of this original bill of lading which is
now accomplished.

More than one person demanding delivery of the cargo this situation may arise where no
bills of lading are available at the discharge port more than one set of bills of lading has
been placed in circulation, all or some of which are unauthorized. The originals from a
single set have found their way in to the hands of a number of holders. The original
shipper (seller) has parted with the bills of lading and is asserting that the holder has not
complied with its obligations under the sale contract “(e.g. it has somehow acquired the
bills of lading without making payment).

Each of the situations places the master (and the ship-owner) in a very difficult position.
The master is now on notice that one or more of the bills of lading may not be valid, and
that one or more of the holders may have acquired possession of the bills of lading in
circumstances where the transfer of the bills of lading into their possession was not
intended to transfer the right to demand delivery.

The situations can give rise to complex legal issues and may involve complex
commercial solutions and legal solutions.

Change of destination during voyage

Sometimes the master may be asked to change destination during the voyage and to
proceed to a discharge port other than that named in the bill of lading. The master has no
authority on the owner’s behalf to vary the contract of carriage in this way. The ship-
owner may choose to accept a letter of indemnity in return for such a variation. These are
matters for the ship-owner to decide.

Other matters

Co-mingling of oil cargoes

There appears to be an increasing practice for oil traders to co-mingle cargoes from
different ports shipped on different dates and often with different specifications. This can
create difficulties in the context of issuing bills of lading. These difficulties derive from
three points.

When goods which essentially are of the same specification are shipped by more than one
shipper, and the goods are co-mingled on board the carrying ship, then the shippers share
ownership in the whole of the mixed goods.

Where the goods are of different specification then not only do questions of shared
ownership arise, but also all the goods shipped may be reason of co-mingling have
changed in nature or specification.

If the goods have been shipped on different dates from different ports, then each bill of
lading must accurately show the ports of shipment and the dates of shipment for the
reasons given at paragraphs 156 and 157. a single bill of lading for the co-mingled cargo
could not accurately describe these details.

To the oil trader none of these points may be of great significance because it will be his
intention to control ownership of the cargo at some stage and then to sell it in different
parcels and with its newly acquired specification. None of this is within the ship owner’s
knowledge, however and so it must fall back on basic principles so that it can ensure that
in respect of each parcel shipped a bill of lading is issued showing the time and place of
that shipment, and the number quantity, weight, marks and apparent condition of the
goods. The master must proceed on the basis that each shipper will require in individual
bill of lading for each parcel. Practical guidance is given at paragraph.

Whether the master can properly be instructed to co-mingle one cargo with another is a
matter of contract between the owner and usually the charterer (often the oil trader).
Often there is provision in charter parties for co-mingling to take place. If the bill of
lading records the receipt onboard in apparent good order and condition of a parcel of
cargo which is subsequently mixed with a cargo of different specification then there is no
basis for clausing the bills of lading but there is a possibility of a claim or claims at the
discharge port from disappointed consignees.

The problems which will undoubtedly arise with the issue of bills of lading in
circumstances where cargoes are co-mingled and the problems arising from the owner
making a contractual commitment to co-mingle cargoes received on board, can all be
resolved by proper negotiation of the governing charter party return of original bills of
lading and letters of indemnity. These are matters for the ship owner to decide. It is
important when faced with these situations for the master to adhere carefully to the
principles set out above.

Mixing of dry cargoes

In practical terms the mixing of dry cargoes will usually involve goods of one description
loaded at one port and so many of the difficulties in issuing an accurate bill of lading will
not arise. The point at paragraph 224(a) does arise but will not be of practical importance.
The individual buyers will draw their share of the cargo from the bulk cargo. If separate
bills for each parcel loaded were not issued delivery may be given against presentation of
the original bill together with ship’s delivery orders or non-negotiable bills for the
separate parcels, sometimes known as ‘split’ bills.

Charter parties and charterer’s bills

The ship will often be operating under a charter party. The question then arises whether
the bill of lading is a contract between the charterer and the shipper or between the ship
owner and the shipper. Although this is a complex issue under English law, it is probably
correct to say that in most instances a bill of lading will represent a contract between the
ship owner and the shipper (and, of course, any other holder in due course of the bill of
lading). The exception to the rule is where the ship is operating under a demise or
bareboat charter party so that the master is the employee of the charterer and not of the
ship owner and any bill of lading signed by the master is done so by him as the
charterer’s agent. More complex and unusual examples of a charterer’s bill may be where
the master has been given express authority by the ship-owner and charterer to sign on
the charterer’s behalf or where the charterer has signed the bill of lading in his own name.
The master will not necessarily be aware of all of these arrangements.

The significance of the distinction between an owner’s bill and a charter’s bill is of
course that if the contract is between the charterer and the shipper (and subsequent
holders of the bill of lading) then any promises made in that bill of lading (e.g. to carry to
the destination, and to care for the goods) and any representations made in the bill of
lading (e.g. as to condition on quality of cargo), are matters between the charterer and the
cargo owner. The said, the ship-owner may of course, continue to have duties of care
because the cargo is in its physical possession.

The ability of a charterer to bind a ship-owner to a bill of lading which has been issued
without authority being given to the charterer or his agent, is a complex legal question
and lot will depend upon unusual or unique factual situations. However because the
problem of charterers or their agents issuing bills of lading without authority or not in
accordance with mate’s receipts has been identified as a problem area for ship owners, a
brief summary of the guiding principles may be useful.

In many charter party where the master is obliged to follow the orders of the charterer as
to the employment of the vessel then, unless there is an express prohibition the charterer
or its agent will have actual authority to issue and sign bills of lading on the owner’s

If the charterer or its agent issues bills of lading in breach of charter party terms they will
still have ostensible authority to issue and sign and sign bills of lading on the ship
owner’s behalf unless the ship-owner has been able to advise cargo interests of the lack
of actual authority before the bills have been signed or unless the bills contain
extraordinary terms, or unless the cargo interests had reasons to know of the lack of

The master and ship-owner may be entitled to refuse to issue clean bills clean bills of
lading for unsound cargo and this will cause problems for the shipper and charterer. But
in practice, if the charterer or its agent decide that it will without notifying the master
abuse the authority identified at (a) and (b) above so as to issue clean bills for unsound

cargo itself, there is considerable likelihood that the ship-owner will be found to be
bound by these bills of lading. The ship owner’s remedy is against is against the charterer
or its agent.

What dates should be inserted in a bill of lading which refers to a charter party?

If the head-charter party is a voyage charter party then the date of this charter party
should be inserted. The position is less clear if the head-charter party is a time charter
party but in the absence of guidance or instruction from any other source the master
should insert the date of the head charter party. This is the contract with which the ship-
owner is familiar. Also the time charter party will usually contain express provision as to
certain terms which are to be included in any bill of lading which is issued. Reference to
this charter party in the bill of lading may incorporate these clauses into the bill of lading.
There may be a number of charter parties and therefore the master should if possible
check with the ship-owner to see what date is to be inserted in the bill of lading. The
ship-owner is in the best position to advise on this.


Freight terms on a bill of lading are of great importance to the shipper and consignee of
the cargo as they will show either that the ship-owner has received the freight (e.g.
‘freight prepaid) and therefore that the ship-owner will not be exercising a lien over the
goods at the discharge port or that all or some of the freight remains payable (e.g. payable
at destination). If there is no charter party involved then any freight terms recorded on the
face of the bill of lading for example that freight has been prepaid or that a certain
amount has been paid in advance will operate as a receipt issued by the master on behalf
of the ship-owner confirming that the money has been paid to the ship-owner. If the
vessel if operating under a charter party the charterer will usually receive the freight for
the shipment (e.g. where he is a time charterer receiving freight from a voyage charterer
or a CIF seller receiving freight from the buyer within the sale price of the goods). In
those circumstances it would not seem to be sensible for the ship-owner to issue a receipt
for something which it has not received.

Despite this it can be dangerous for a master to refuse to sign a bill of lading which
includes terms as to payment of freight particularly if those terms are standard within the
charterer’s trade. So for example when its ship if operating under a time charter party and
the obligation on the master is to sign bills of lading ‘as presented’, the master should not
generally refuse to issue bills of lading simply because they are marked ‘freight prepaid’
and a ship-owner should be very careful to take detailed legal advice before it instructs
the mater not to sign such a bill. Voyage charterer parties usually contain terms that are
more precise about the issue and release of bills of lading marked ‘freight pre-paid or will
expressly state the freight terms that are to be included in any bills of lading issued under
the charter party for example that freight is payable at destination. If no provision has
been made in the voyage charter party for the issue of freight pre-paid bills of lading the
master should seek clear instructions from the ship-owner. If he cannot obtain
instructions then he should advise his shippers and charterer that he is awaiting clear

instructions from the ship-owner that the bills of lading in the hands of the owner’s agent
to be released only with ship owner’s consent.



In this term the seller delivers the goods by keeping it ready in deliverable state at the
seller’s place or another named place. This named place can be factory / godown or
manufacturing unit. In this term seller does not clear the goods for exports nor goods are
loaded on vehicle. The obligation under this term on seller is very less and on buyer it is

Buyer bears all costs and risks in taking the goods from seller’s premises. Under this term
the seller’s obligation will be to provide the goods of agreed quality along with necessary
invoice and documents. The seller must keep the goods ready at the name placed duly
packed. The seller will be responsible for loss of or damage to the goods until they have
been delivered to buyer or his representative. The buyer must pay the price as agreed in
the sales contract. He should also, if required, arrange for necessary export licence or
permit. The buyer must bear all risks of loss of or damage to the goods from the moment
the goods have been delivered. In case the delivery date or any period is fixed and the
seller has appropriated clearly goods in identified condition as the contract goods, then
upon the expiry of the said date the risks get transferred to the buyer.

2. FCA = FREE CARRIER (……named place):

This term refers to seller’s responsibility to deliver the goods, cleared for export, to the
carrier appointed by the buyer at the named place. In this term the place of delivery is
very important. If the delivery is at seller’s places then he is responsible for loading. If
the delivery occurred at any other place, the seller is not responsible for unloading. This
term can be used for all modes of transport as well as multi-modal. The seller considers
to have completed his obligation to deliver the goods when they are delivered to the
carrier, which is nominated by the buyer. Under this term the seller’s obligation will be to
provide the goods of agreed quality along with necessary invoice and documents. The
seller must arrange at his own risk and cost necessary export permit or licence required
for export of goods. The delivery is regarded as completed if the named place is seller’s
premises, when the goods have been loaded on the vehicle provided by the nominated
carrier. In other cases when the goods are placed or handed over at the disposal of the
said carrier.

The buyer must pay the price as agreed in the sales contract. He should also, if required,
arrange for necessary import licence or permit. The buyer will have to bear the expenses
of carriage from the named place. The buyer must take the delivery of the goods when
they have been delivered by the seller.

3. FAS = FREE ALONGSIDE SHIP (…..named port of shipment)

In this term when the goods are placed alongside the vessel at the named port of shipment
it will be considered that the seller has completed the delivery. The buyer has to bear all
risks of loss or damage to the goods and all costs from this point of time. However, the
seller must clear the goods for the purpose of export. In the earlier INCO-terms it was
buyer to arrange for export clearance. This term can be used only for inland waterway
transport or shipment by sea. It is not used when it is air shipment. The seller must give
the goods commercial invoice in conformity with the contract of sale. The seller must
obtain at his own risks and expenses any export licence or other official authorization and
carry out, where applicable, all customs formalities necessary for the export of the goods.
The seller must place the goods alongside the vessel selected by the buyer at the loading
place. The seller must do so on the date or within the agreed period in the normal manner
in which it is done at the said port. Till such time the risk is on account of seller and
subsequently it is on buyer. The buyer obligations includes payment of the price,
obtaining import licence, all custom facilities for the import of the goods, contract of the
carriage and insurance. The buyer must take delivery when they have been given. The
risk commences when the goods are delivered. The seller must pay the cost of checking
quality, measuring, weighing and counting which are necessary for the purpose of
delivery of the goods. Seller should mark the packaging appropriately.

4. FOB = FREE ON BOARD (…..named port of shipment)

This is the most popular term and is widely in use. FOB means that the seller delivers
when the goods pass the ship’s rail at the named port of shipment. Under this term the
buyer has to bear all costs and risk of loss of damage to the goods from that point. This
term requires the seller to clear the goods for exports. This term is used only for sea or
inland waterway transport. It is not suitable for shipment by air. The seller must provide
the goods and the commercial invoice, or it’s equivalent electronic message, in
conformity with the contract of sale and any other evidence of conformity which may be
required by the contract. The seller must obtain at his own risk and expense any export
licence or other official authorization and carry out, where applicable, all custom
formalities; the seller will have no obligation for carriage of insurance. He must deliver
the goods on the date or within the agreed period at the named port of the shipment until
that time the risk is with him.

5. CFR = COST AND FRIEGHT (….named port of destination)

Earlier this term was popularly known as C& F or CNF. CFR means the seller must pay
the cost and the freight necessary for the goods to reach at the named destination.
However the risks of loss or damage to the goods after the time of the delivery is on
buyer account. The seller is required to clear the goods for exports. This term can be used
only for sea and inland waterway transport of goods. The seller has no obligation for
insurance the seller must deliver the goods on the data of shipment or within agreed
period on the board of the vessel at the port of shipment.

The buyer will arrange for necessary import licence at his own cost and risk. The buyer
will arrange to receive the goods and make necessary arrangement for clearance of the
goods by following necessary customer formalities.

6. CIF= COST INSURANCE AND FREIGHT (named port of destination)

“Cost insurance and Freight” means that the seller delivers when the goods pass the
ship’s rail in the port of shipment. The CIF price refer that it covers the cost of the goods,
freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination and also marine
insurance. Compared to the previous term CFR the seller contracts for the insurance
premium. It will be essential for the buyer to know that under the CIF term the seller is
required to obtain the insurance premium. It will be essential for the buyer to know that
under the CIF term the seller is required to obtain the insurance only on minimum cover.
If the buyer wishes to have more protection then he should make his own insurance
arrangement extra or should specify to the seller at the time of contract.

In this term the seller must clear the goods for exports and the buyer must arrange
necessary clearance for import. This term can be used only for sea and inland water

Under this term seller’s obligation is to provide goods in conformity with the contract. He
has to arrange for necessary export licence, if required. All customs formalities necessary
for exports of goods should be completed by the exporter. The exporter must contract for
carriage and insurance on usual terms and bear the cost thereof. If subsequent carriers are
used for the carriage of the agreed destination the risk passes when the goods have been
delivered to the first carrier. This term is used for any mode of transport including
multimode transport.

Under this term the seller must provide the goods and the commercial invoice, arrange
for export licence, arrange for contract of carriage and also arrange for clearance of the
goods for the export.

The buyer’s obligation includes payment of the price, arranging import licence, necessary
formalities for clearance of goods and take delivery of goods.

7. CPT=CARRIAGE PAID TO (named place destination)

“Carriage Paid To” means the seller delivers the goods to the carrier nominated by him
but the seller must in addition pay the cost of carriage necessary to bring the goods to the
named destination. This refers to the fact that all the risks and any other cost occurring
after the goods have been delivered will be on buyer’s account. This term is used for all
modes of transport including multi-modal transport.

“Carrier” means any person who, in a contract of carriage, undertakes to perform or to
procure the performance of transport, by rail, road, air, sea, inland waterway or by a
combination of such modes. If subsequent carriers are used for the carriage to the agreed

destination, the risk passes when the goods have been delivered to the first carrier. The
seller’s obligation under this term refers to providing goods and commercial invoice.
Arrange for necessary export licence or authorization, complete the export formalities,
enter the contract of carriage. However contract of insurance is not covered under this
term as seller obligation.

The buyer on the other hand must pay for the price and also arrange for import licence
and customs clearance for import. The buyer should also arrange for taking necessary

8. CIP = CARRIAGE AND INSURANCE PAID TO (…..named place of

“Carriage and Insurance Paid To” means that the seller delivers the goods to the carrier
nominated by him, but the seller must in addition pay the cost of carriage necessary to
bring the goods to the named destination. This means that the buyer bears all risks and
any additional costs occurring after the goods have been so delivered. However, in CIP
the seller also has to procure insurance against the buyer’s risks of loss of or damage to
the goods during the carriage.

Consequently, the seller contracts for insurance premium. However the seller is required
to obtain insurance only on minimum cover. If the buyer desires to have greater
protection then he should go for additional insurance or expressly make necessary
arrangement and bear the cost for the same. This term is used in all types of transport
including multi-modal.

The carrier is defined as a person who, in a contract of carriage, undertakes to perform or
to procure the performance of transport, or in combination of more than one mode of

The seller’s obligation under this term refers to providing the goods and commercial
invoice, arrange for necessary export licence and to provide for carriage & insurance. The
seller must deliver the goods to the carrier contracted. The buyer must pay the price and
arrange for import licence. He should comply with customs formalities for the import of
the goods. He must take the delivery. There is no responsibility for contract of carriage or

9. DAF = DELIVERED AT FRONTIER (…..named place)

This term is used when goods are to be delivered at land frontier, irrespective of the mode
of transport. “Delivered At Frontier” means when the goods are placed at the disposal of
the buyer on the arriving means of transport not unloaded, cleared for import at the
named point and place at the frontier, but before the customs border of the adjoining

When delivery is to take place in the port of destination, on board a vessel or on the quay
(wharf), the DES or DEQ term should be used.

Under this term the seller’s obligation includes providing the goods and the commercial
invoice, take necessary exports licence so that he can place the goods at buyer’s disposal.
He should also arrange customs formalities necessary for the export of the goods to the
named place of the delivery at the frontier and for their transit through any country. The
seller must contract at his own expenses for the named point. However he will not enter
into contract of insurance. The buyer must take the delivery when given properly and
arrange for necessary import licence, custom clearance for import and also pay for the

10. DES = DELIVERED EX SHIP ( …..named port of destination)

“ Delivered Ex Ship” means that the seller delivers when goods are place at the disposal
of the buyer on board ship not cleared for import at the named port of destination. In this
term all the cost and risk in bringing the goods to the named port of destination before
discharge is on seller. This term can be used only when the shipment is by sea or inland
waterway or multi-modal transport in the vessel at the port of destination.

Under this term the seller’s obligation is to provide the goods, arrange for the licence,
enter into contract of carriage. However the seller is not expected to cover the insurance.
The seller must place the goods at the disposal of the buyer on board the vessel at the
unloading point which is the named port of destination on the date or within the agreed
period in such a way as to unable them to be removed from the vessel by unloading.

On the other hand the buyer must pay the price, arrange for import licence, customs
clearance for import and take the delivery. In this case the buyer must bear all risk of loss
of or damage to the goods from the time they have been delivered.

11. DEQ = DELIVERED EX QUAY (…..named port of destination)

“Delivered Ex Quay” means that the seller delivers when the goods are placed at the
disposal of the buyer not cleared for import on the quay (wharf) at the named port of
destination. The seller has to bear costs and risks involved in bringing the goods to the
named port of destination and discharging the goods on the quay (wharf). The DEQ term
requires the buyer to clear the goods for import and to pay for all formalities, duties, taxes
and other charges upon import.

This is a reversal from previous INCO-terms versions, which required the seller to
arrange for import clearance. If the parties wish to include in the seller’s obligations all or
part of the costs payable upon import of the goods, this should be made clear by adding
explicit wording to this effect in the contract of sale. This term can be used only when the
goods are to be delivered by sea or inland waterway or multi-modal transport on
discharging from a vessel onto the quay (wharf) in the port of destination. However if the
parties wish to include in the seller’s obligations the risks & costs of the handling of the

goods from the quay to another place (warehouse, terminal, transport station, etc) in or
outside the port, the DDU or DDP terms should be used. The seller’s obligation includes
providing goods and commercial invoice, arrange for necessary licence for export if any,
and enter into contract of the carriage of the goods to the named quay (wharf) at the
named port of destination. Under this term the seller must place the goods at the disposal
of buyer on the quay (wharf) on the date or within agreed period.

The buyer’s obligation refers to the payment of price arranging for import clearance by
completing customs formalities and also imports licence if any. The buyer must take the
delivery of the goods as per the terms.

12. DDU = DELIVERED DUTY UNPAID ( named place of destination)

“Delivered Duty Unpaid” means that the seller delivers the goods to the buyer, not
cleared for import, and not unloaded from any arriving means of transport at the named
place of destination. The seller has to bear the costs and risks involved in bringing the
goods thereto other than where applicable any duty for import in the country of
destination. Such duty has to be borne by the buyer as well as any costs and risks caused
by his failure to clear the goods for import in time.

The word “duty” includes all or any customs duties, taxes and other similar charges to be
borne. This term may be used irrespective of the mode of transport but when delivery is
to take place in the port of destination on board the vessel or on the quay (wharf), the
DES or DEQ terms should be used.

The seller’s obligation in this case is to provide the goods and commercial invoice,
arrange for export licence and arrange for export formalities. He should undertake
contract of carriage.

The seller must place the goods at the disposal of the buyer or at that of another person
named by the buyer, on any arranging means of transport not unloaded, at the named
place of destination on the date or within the period agreed for delivery. The buyer’s
obligation is to pay the price for the goods, arrange for import licence, custom clearance
for import and take the delivery.

13. DDP = DELIVERED DUTY PAID (…..named place of destination)

“Delivered Duty Paid” means that the seller delivers the goods to the buyer, cleared for
import, and not unloaded from any arriving means of transport at the named place of
destination. The seller has to bear all the costs and risks involved in bringing the goods
thereto including, where applicable, any duty for import in the country of destination.

As EXW represent the least obligation for the seller, DDP represent the least obligation
for the seller. The seller should not enter into DDP term if he is unable to procure
necessary import licence. Under this term the import clearance is seller’s responsibility
and it’s need to arrange for customs clearance for import as well as exports. This term

may be used irrespective of the mode of transport but when delivery is to take place in
the port of destination on board the vessel or on the quay (wharf) the DES or DEQ terms
should be used.

Seller’s obligation includes providing the goods and the commercial invoice arranging
for exports authorization, customs formalities for export contract for carriage. The seller
must place the goods at the disposal of the buyer, or at that of another person named by
the buyer, on any arriving means of transport not unloaded at the named place of
destination on the date or within the period agreed for delivery. The buyer’s obligation is
to pay the price and take the delivery of the goods.

Average freight rate assessment (AFRA)


AFRA and its Terms of Reference was originally laid down and sponsored by Shell and
subsequently BP for their internal use.

In 1982, shell and BP stopped sponsoring it.

It is now compiled by the London Tanker Brokers Panel and is based on information
relating to transport agreements supplied by various oil companies and also from all
known fixtures concluded on the open market.

Recognized by tax authorities in many countries for pricing of intra-company oil


To establish an average transportation cost per ton in a given month for vessel in different
size categories.

To represents the cost of all chartered tonnage actually operating in the month being
assessed, irrespective of when the vessel was fixed.

Fixtures concluded during the period of assessment will not affect the result unless such
vessel is actually performing a voyage during the assessment month.

Who uses AFRA and why?

It removes the variable factors in shipping costs so that the rate paid by the affiliate
reflects the cost of chartered tonnage operating in the month being calculated.

It takes into account transport costs on a worldwide basis including spot market factor for
that month.

It is also used for transactions between oil traders and also by government bodies.

AFRA rate DWT categories

General purpose – 16,500/24,000

Medium range – 25,000/44,999

Large range 1 – 45,000/79,999

Large range 2 – 80,000/159,999

VLCC – 160,000/319,999

ULCC – 320,000/549,999

Vessels not included in the assessment

Government-owned vessels except when on commercial charter

Vessels employed in specialized trades such as the carriage of clean oils, petrochemicals,
lube oils, bitumen, etc.

Vessels employed in protected trades such as the U.S. Jones Act trade.

Components in each size category

Company vessels.

Vessels on long term charter (>18 months)

Vessels on short term charter (<18 months)

Vessels on single voyage charter

The mechanics of AFRA

The calculations are made for the period from the 16
of a month to the 15
of the next
month, both dates inclusive. It is the weighted average of commercially chartered tonnage
as employed in the international transport of oil during the period considered.

Vessels fixtures for each of the above four vessel categories are supplied by member
companies who use AFRA and from report of fixtures concluded on the market for
loading in the period under assessment.

AFRA Assessment steps

The carrying capacity of each vessel operating during the assessment period is calculated
using a standard voyage.

The weighted average rate in US dollars per ton for carrying a ton of oil on that standard
voyage is estimated for each of the four vessel oil on that standard voyage is estimated
for each of the four vessel types. For vessels that are on time charter, the TCH/DWT
/month is converted into cost per ton of cargo for the standard voyage.

An overall weighted average is calculated for each size group as follows:

(Total carrying capacity of each size category) x (Weighted average rate for that size

The values arrived under 2 & 3 are in US dollars per ton and are converted into WS index
on the basis of the standard voyage used and are published as a WS Index Figure for each
size category.


The WORLDSCALE Associations of London and New York jointly publish a book,
listed over 60,000 voyage rates and distances.

The book is revised yearly to take account of changes in bunker prices and port dues,
amendments are also published from time to time throughout the year.

These “base” rates are given in US$ per tonne of cargo and take into account bunker
prices, canal transit times and port charges.

The rate is based on a standard vessel of 75,000 tonnes cargo capacity costing $ 12,000
per day fixed hire and performing a round voyage load/discharge and back to load port at
14.5 knots on 55 tonnes of fuel oil per day. It must be emphasized that these rates are
nominal rates, in practice the ship-owner and charter will negotiate a rate for the
particular voyage is question as a percentage of the nominal rate.

Thus if the voyage was fixed at WORLDSCALE 100 (WS 100) then the rate would be as
published. If the voyage was fixed at WS 170 then it would be 170% of the published

This has proven to be a remarkably successful compromise between the charterer’s desire
for flexible discharge options and the owners need for a fair predictable income for his
vessel, however there are problems. WORLDSCALE is based upon an average vessel
earning an average rate with average rate with average costs. The further your vessel is
away from the WORLDSCALE average and the further away the market is from WS 100
then the greater the potential for distortions.

This is why when looking at fixture reports you may see a VLCC fixing at WS 60 whilst
a product tanker is fixed at WS 200, the cost per tonne of cargo moved on a VLCC is
much lower than the cost per tonne of cargo moved on a product tanker, thus the product
tanker will attract a higher WORLDSCALE percentage. Prudent owners will be aware of
any distortions their particular vessel specifications and the state of the market may cause
and will adjust their figures accordingly.

The new worldwide tanker nominal freight scale (WORLDSCALE) is intended merely as
a standard of reference to assist subscribers to conduct business.

The responsibility of the associations is limited to providing subscribers with rates for
voyages calculated in accordance with the basis of a calculation and to revising
WORLDSCALE from time to time.

The nominal rate for a voyage does not in itself have any significance as representing a
fair or reasonable rate for the standard vessel or any other size and/or type of vessel at
any particular time.

Market levels of freight are to be expressed in terms of a percentage of the nominal
freight rate. Thus WORLDSCALE 100 would mean the rate for the voyage in question as
calculated and issued by the associations, while WORLDSCALE 175 would mean 175
per cent of that rate and WORLDSCALE 75 would mean 75 per cent of that rate.

Rates are calculated and quoted only in USD per tonne. However, freight may of course
by payable in any currency and the contracting parties should specify clearly the currency
of payment and the method to be used to determine the rate of exchange to apply if the
currency of payment is to be other than USD.

Basis of calculation

All rate calculations, which are made in USD, are per tonne for a full cargo for the
standard vessel based upon a round voyage from loading port or ports to discharging port
or ports and return to first loading port using the under-mentioned factors.

All of the factors shown are purely nominal and for rate calculation purposes only. In
particular, the fixed hire element of USD 12,000 per day is not intended to represent an
actual level of operating costs, nor to produce rates providing a certain level of income or
margin of profit, either for the standard vessel or for any other vessel under any flag.

Standard vessel

Total capacity 75,000 tonnes
(i.e. the vessel’s capacity for cargo plus stores, water, and bunkers, both voyage and
reserve; also see section 5 (2) of part A of the preamble).

Average service speed 14.5 knots

Bunker consumption steaming 55 tonnes per day

Purposes other than steaming 100 tonnes per round voyage

In port 5 tonnes for each port
Involved in the voyage

Grade of fuel oil 380 cst

(b) Port time 4 days for a voyage from one
loading port to one discharging port; an
additional 12 hours being
allowed for each extra port
involved on a voyage

(c) Fixed hire element USD 12,000 per day

(d) Bunker price USD 149,75 per tonne

This price represents the average worldwide bunker price for fuel oil (380 cst) during the
period 1
October 1999 to 30
September 2000 as assessed by Cockett marine oil limited
(of London)

(e) Port costs

Port costs used are those assessed by the associations in the light of information available
to them up to the end of September 2000, the rate of exchange used for converting costs
in a local currency to USD being the average applicable during September 2000.

(f) Canal transit time

24 hours is allowed for each transit of the Panama canal.

30 hours is allowed for each transit of the Suez Canal.
Mileage is not taken into account in either case.

Notes on calculations

It is assumed that the standard vessel is able to navigate the selected route to reach and
load or discharge at the ports concerned. See section 6 of part A of the Preamble for a
description of the route policy.

The port time is deemed to include the Laytime of 72 hours.

Rates are calculated for voyages with loading and discharging ports in whatever order is
requested, irrespective of whether that order is consistent with the principle of
geographical rotation.

No allowance is made for any Tax on Freight or Income Tax, nor is there any provision
as to whether such Taxes are for owners’ or for Charters’ Account.
No allowance is made for any additional Marine Insurance on hull or machinery,
including War Risk insurance, which may be incurred when trading to or from certain

No allowance is made for deviation for any purpose whatsoever.

No allowance is made for any de-ballasting expenses, nor is there any provision as to
whether such costs are for Owners’ or Charters’ Account.

An unfortunate fact that the concept of WORLDSCALE points can not be carried over by
dry cargo operators for the following reasons:

Dry cargo carriers have multiplicity of trades and cargoes whereas the tankers carry oil

Dry cargo ships are of several types and have variety of cargo handling gear. tankers on
the other hand have practically the same type of construction and all of them are fitted
with cargo handling pumps.

Vast variation exists in stowage factors of dry cargoes whereas the oil does not have
much different stowage factors therefore needing practically same sized (cubic capacity
wise) vessels for same weights of cargo.

Carriage of dry goods has several modes i.e. Bulk, Bags, Pallets, Drums, Bales and
containers whereas tankers carry oil in bulk only.

Dry cargo vessel have large variation in “operational port stay” (from few hours to
several weeks) whereas the tankers irrespective of their size require practically the same
‘operational port stay’ ranged between 18 to 36 hours usually.

Tankers have fewer loading and discharging locations the world over as specialised
arrangements have to be put in place before a tanker can discharge and on the other hand
a dry cargo vessel needs very little in the name of infrastructure and can discharge her
cargo just about anywhere.

Voyage estimation

Simulation 1

Vessel particulars:

Summer DWT 155,000 tonnes
Speed 14 knots, loaded and ballast
Fuel consumption @ sea 55 tonnes per day F.O., 2 tonnes per day D.O. @ each port 15
tonnes F.O., 2 tonnes D.O.
Constant 500 tonnes
Sag 1,000 tonnes
Bunkers ROB @ load port
F>O. 1,400 tonnes
D.O. 100 tonnes
Daily running cost $7,500
Proposed voyage:
A full cargo of crude oil, one safe loading port to one/two safe ports U.S. Gulf.
Intended voyage port Torres to Beaumont, Ts.
One way distance 5,544n. miles
Proposed rate WS 70
WS Flat rate $8.70
Bunkering Beaumont (F.O. $100/tonnes; D.O. $165/Tonne)
Port costs
Porto Torres $20,000
Beaumont $ 30,000

Port stay Ws conditions (2 days to load, 2 days to discharge)

Methodology - 4 steps involved


Voyage time
Voyage costs
Cargo that can be loaded
Daily return and daily profit
Sensitivity analysis

Voyage time calculation

Steaming time = (5544x2)/ (14x24) = 33 days
Port stay = 4 days
Total = 37 days

Voyage cost calculation

Running cost = 7,500 x 37 = $277,500
Port costs = 20,000+30,000 = 50,000


F.O. reqd. = (55 x 33) + (15 x2) = 1,845 tonnes
Cost = 1,845 x 100 = $184,500
D.O. Reqd. = (2 x33) + (2x2) = 70 tonnes
Cost = 70 x 165 = $11,550
Total cost = $523,550

Cargo to load

Summer DWT = 155,000 tonnes
F.O. = 1,400
D.O. = 100
Constant = 500
Sag = 1,000
Total = 3,000
Cargo to load = 152,000 tonnes

Revenue calculations

Gross revenue = 152,000 x 8.70 x 70/100 = $925,680
Total voyage costs = $523,550
Net revenue = 925,680 – 523,550 = $402,130
Daily return = gross revenue /# of days = 925,680/37=$25,018.4
Daily profit = net revenue /# of days = 402,130/37 = $10,868.4

Example Question 1

Q1. A vessel is to load 9,000t of ore at the rate of 1,500t per day SHEX and discharge
at the rate of 1,000t per day, SHEX. Lay time to commence 24 hours after NOR is
received both at loading port and discharging port.

The vessel arrived at loading port on Thursday 25
April and NOR given and accepted at
0900 hours same day. Loading commenced at 1300 hours on 25
April and completed at
1400 hours on Wednesday, 1
May. Rain stopped work between 1600 hours and 1800
hours on 25

The vessel arrived at discharging port on Tuesday, 14
May and NOR given and
accepted at 0800 hours same day. Discharging commenced at 1800 hours on 15

and competed at Noon on 26
May. Demurrage at $4,000 per day and pro rata of a day
and Despatch at $2,000 per day and pro rata for part of a day.

Prepare a Laytime statement and calculate the amount due to the ship owner or chartered
if the Laytime is reversible.

Laytime =
500 , 1
000 , 9
= 6 days SHEX (loading)
000 ,
Laytime =
000 , 1
= 9 days SHEX (disch)
= NOR + 24
. = 15
5/4 (Thurs) 1/5 (wed) 14/5 (Tue) 5/5

Reversible L.T days

2 1 26/5
0900: NOR

1300 : LDG comd

1600-180 IN
1400:Ldg comptd 0800: NOR 1800:comd disch


0: RA

Day Date Remarks Time to
t me to
Thurs 5/4 2 0900: NOR
1300:Ldg comd
1600 to1800:
Fri 26/4 0900 LT starts
15 15
Sat 27/4 F.T.C. 1

Sun 27/4 N.T.C. 0 1

Mon 28/4 N.T.C. 1

Tue 30/4 F.T.C. 1

Wed 1/5 1400 Ldg
14 4

0800 NOR
d h
0800 L.T.
Thurs 16/5 F.T.C. 1

Fri 17 F.T.C. 1

Sat 18 F.T.C. 1

Tue 14/5 0 4 05
Wed 15/5

Sun 19 N.T.C. 0 7

Mon 20 F.T.C 1

Tue 21 F.T.C. 1

Wed 22 F.T.C. 1

Thur 23 F.T.C. 1

Fri 24 F.T.C. 1

Sun 27
1200 comptd
Sat 25 1

Mon 28
F.T.C. 1
Tues 28
L.T. finishes 3

Despatch = 1

Money due = 2000 x 1.625 = 3250 $
e rate is
50/ day of pro-rata. Despatch money is not payable. Freight is due at 3.90 per tonne less
nce. Calculate the amount due to the ship on completion of discharge.
23,400t to load & discharge = 172 running his bunkering time excluded
= NOR +6 hrs
May 23, 2003
ted 0780N 1230: bunker 1600: completed loading
6 May 22 may
NOR 183 leted

ours to count otal hrs to

Example Question 2
Q2. A tanker has 23,400 tonnes of oil to load and discharge in 172 running hours.
Bunkering time is excluded. Lay hours to commence 6 hours after N.O.R. is accepted.
N.O.R. was accepted at the load port at 1200 hrs on Friday the 4
of May. Work ceased
while bunkering from 0730 hrs to 1230hrs on the 7
May. Loading finished at 1600 hrs
on the 8
May. N.O.R. was accepted at the discharge port at 1500 hrs on the 18
and discharging was completed at 1830 hrs on the 22
of May. The demurrag
4% insura


Tanker has
Lay time commence
Load port
4/may 7
1200 NOR accep
Discharge po
1500: 0 comp
Day Date Details H T
1200 NO
1800 lay time
6 6
Sat 5
may Full day to
24 30
Loading Friday 4
may R
Sun 6 may
Full day to count
24 54

Day Date Details u Ho rs to count al hrs to
Mon 7
may 0730 1230
bunker (NTC)
19 73
Tues 8
may mp
6 9 1600 co 1 8
For discharging
1500: NOR
2100 lay time
3 92
Sat 19
may Full day to
24 116
Day Date Details rs to count hrs to Hou Total

Sun 20 may 24
Mon 21
may 24 164
Demurrage = hrs
ues 22
may 1830 completed
18.5 182.5

Demurrage rate =
x 10.5 = 328.125 $
Freight due = 23, 400 x 3.90 = 91260 $
Less 4% = 3650.4 $
ip = (91260-3650.4) + 328.125 = 87937.725 $.
espatch at half demurrage rate on all time
ved. At load port Lay time commenced at 1200 on Monday 25 November and loading
t discharging port Laytime commenced at 1200 on Thursday 12 December and
repare a Laytime statement and calculate the demurrage/despatch, and the net amount
owners/charterers on (I) Normal basis and (II) Averaging basis.

Discharging 72 hrs
ay time NTC from
Amount due to the sh

Example Question 3

Q3. A charter- party provides for Laytime for loading 6 days, Laytime for discharging
3 days and Laytime not to count from noon Saturday until midnight Sunday even if used.
Demurrage at $3,500/- per day or pro-rata. D
completed at 1200 on Friday 29 November.

discharging completed at 2400 hrs on Thursday 19 December.

payable to


Lay time for loading = 6 days X 24 = 144 hrs

Lay time for = 3 days X 24 =
L Noon Saturday until midnight Sunday

Demurrage = $ 3500 per day.
: Lay time co mptd loa

to count l hrs to

Dispatch = ½ demurrage

Monday Friday

25/11 29/11

1200 md 1200: Co ding
Day Date Details Hrs Tota
Mon 25/11 1200: lay time
12 12
Tues 26/11 Full day to
24 36
Wed 27/11 Full day to
24 60
Thur day to 28/11 Full
24 84
Day Date Details Hrs to count l hrs to
12/12 1200: lay time
12 12
Fri 13/12 Full day to
24 36
Mon 16/12 Full day to
24 72
Tues 17/12 Full day to
24 96


Full day to
24 120
Thur 19/1
Fri 29/11 12 96
Despatch = 48hrs + 36 = 84hr
Sat 14/12 1200 :
12 48
Sun 15/12 - -


2400 completed
24 144
Demurrage = 72 hrs.

Normal basis
Despatch =
24 2

1 x x 84 3500
= 6125
Demurrage =
= 10500
3500 x 72
et amount payable to owner = 10500-6125 = 4375$
= 84 –72 = 12 hrs dispatch = 1/2 x 1750 = $875.
0800h to 1000h on 24
four hatches.
0800h to 1000h on 25
…… 12
800-0900 0800-930 0800-1000 0800-1000
rain # 4 breakdown rain

veraging basis A

xample question 4 E

Prepare a lay time statement on the basis of the following particulars and find the amount
of demurrage/despatch:

9240t of sugar in bags are to be discharged at the rate of 720t per weather working day of
24 hours, Sundays and holidays excepted. Laydays to start 24 hours after receipt of
otice of Readiness. N

Demurrage @ $700/- per day and pro rata for part of day. Despatch at half the rate of
demurrage for all time saved.

Vessel arrived and berthed at 0720h on Monday 21 February. Discharging co
st th
at 0930h on 21 February, and completed at 1145h on Monday 28 February.
ollows: Discharging was interrupted as f
Rain from 0800h to 0900h on 22
0800h to 0930h on 23
February. Rain from
inch breakdown at No.4 hatch from W
Vessel has
Rain from
Wednesday, March 1 was a public

Lay time = ……..= 0
= 320

Feb 22feb 23feb 24feb 25
on M
berth-0720 0

OR-0720/21 rain N

.T. – 072 L

0830-disch comptd

Feb. 1
march (Wed)
ptd /1
ay murrage
- - Despatch.
0830: dispatch
2 Feb Tue 0720: L.T. comptd 15 40 00 15 40 -
0: # 4 reakd wn
00: rai
106 10
7 Feb Sun N.T.C. - - 106 10
11 45 117 55
9 Feb Tue F.T.C 24 00

despatch for all time saved = 308 – 117 55
= 190
= 7

Dish com 145 Holiday

Date D Details Hrs. Total hrs. De
21 Feb Mon 0720: Beth, NOR recd

0800-0900 rain

23 Feb. Wed 0800-0930: rain 22 30 00 38 10

24 Feb Thur 0800-100 b o 22 00 60 10

25 Feb Fri 0800-10 n 22 00 82 10

26 Feb Sat F.T.C. 24 00
28 Feb Mon F.T.C.
1145-compted discharge

Chapter 8: Marine Insurance



Before going into details, three fundamental principles common to all types of
insurance must be discussed. These are: insurable interest, indemnity and good faith.

Insurable Interest

Under this principle an assured can only recover under the policy if he has an insurable
interest in the subject matter of the insurance. In other words, a contract of insurance is
binding on the underwriter only if it is made to cover an interest, which the law declares
to be capable of being insured. This means that the assured usually holds or expects to
acquire an interest in the nature of property. It became necessary to establish this
principle in order to prevent insurance from being used as a cloak for wagering. An
insurance of the vessel for instance, at a premium of x per cent for a voyage from London
to New York is at first sight simply a bet of a hundred to one that the vessel will safely
reach New York. What distinguishes such a contract from a bet is that the assured must
have an insurable interest, or right of property, in the ship. In the early days of marine
insurance no such requirement was necessary. This gave rise to grave scandals, and the
law was accordingly altered.

Insurable interest is the case notably where in any legal or equitable relation to the
adventure or to any insurable at risk, in consequence of which he may benefit by the
safety or due arrival of the insurable property, or may be prejudiced by its loss, or by
damage thereto, or by the detention thereof or may incur liability in respect thereof.

It might at first sight appear that a bet of a hundred to one that the above vessel will
safely reach New York involves a benefit or loss as she arrives or sinks, and that
therefore there is an insurable interest. But in reality there is no interest other than that
created by the wager itself. An interest to be capable of insurance must be one in the
adventure itself that is to say, the assured must stand to gain by the safe arrival of the
vessel or lose because of its destruction quite apart from the wager itself



The most obvious case of an insurable interest is the ownership of the ship. It should be
remembered that in the case of a shipping company the latter owns the ship, not the
shareholders. Even the owner of practically all the shares in the company does not
thereby acquire an insurable interest in the company's vessels, for the company is a legal
person apart from its shareholders. The latter may actually lose money if the Company's
ships are destroyed, for this may lead to reduced dividends or the liquidation of the
company. Likewise, they may profit the vessel's safety, for their shares may yield more
profit. But the law on marine insurance does not say - you have an insurable interest

wherever a person may benefit or lose by reason of the existence of the insured
thing. The law however does provide - a person must stand in a legal or equitable
relationship to the property insured, and this direct relationship must cause him
profit or loss according to whether or not the thing survives.


Apart from owners, many other parties may have a stake in the use and operation of
ships. One of the most common relationships is that of charterer and the question
therefore arises whether charterers have an insurable interest in the ship they charter.
In the case of demise charterers it seems clear that the charterer has at least a
possessor interest in the ship which would give him the right to insure. Indeed,
standard demise charter agreements can require charterers to keep the vessel insured
to protect the interests of both owners and charterers.

Under time and voyage charters, however, the charterers' interest in the hull extends
only to the potential liability, which may arise if the ship is damaged through
obeying the charterers' orders. While such liability is clearly not an interest in the
way of property, the modern view is that it is sufficient 'to have a right in the thing
insured, or to have a right or be under a liability arising out of some contract relating
to the thing insured'. In many instances it will be obvious that charterers will benefit
from the preservation of the ship or suffer prejudice from its destruction and that
they should be able to demonstrate an insurable interest makes good commercial


It is clear that a mortgager of the subject matter has an insurable interest and may
insure up to the full value of the ship but can only recover under the policy to the
extent of the mortgage debt.


If a ship is held in trust, the trustee alone is regarded as having a legal interest and as
such may insure the full value of the property, which is the subject of the trust.

The Adventure

A person who has no insurable interest in the ship as such may nevertheless be able
to insure the adventure on which she is engaged. Thus a person might be interested
financially in the undertaking of laying an Atlantic cable without having any interest
in either ship or cable as such. A shareholder in a limited company has only a legal
interest in his shares and not in the property, which it owns. However, it has been
held that where the company is engaged upon a business adventure such as the laying
of an Atlantic cable the shareholders have an insurable interest in that adventure.


Whatever may be the case of the shareholder, a creditor has no such interest even
though he may know that the only chance of his loan being repaid is the successful
completion of a certain voyage. Nevertheless he will not be able to insure the
adventure, for he has a legal claim against the debtor whether or not profits are made.

Lien Holders

While creditors in general cannot show an insurable interest there is no doubt that a
creditor who holds a lien on maritime property has an interest to the extent of his lien.
The interest of the holder of a maritime lien will arise with the incident, which brings the
lien into being, for example a collision, or the completion of salvage services. However,
the interest of a creditor seeking a statutory right of arrest in rem cannot attach until, at
the earliest, when a writ is issued and possibly not until it is served.

When Must the Interest Exist?

The question now arises - at what time must the assured have the interest in the
subject matter of the insurance? The problem arises in this way. Suppose the owner
of a ship insures her for one year, and before the policy has expired he sells the ship.
After the sale the vessel is lost. In this case the assured has an insurable interest at the
time he affects the insurance, but none at the time of the loss.

This is not unjust. The law prohibits wagers and wager policies, and logically it might
appear necessary to have the interest at the time when the insurance is affected, as is the
case in other insurances. On the other hand, it may be very convenient to insure
something in which as yet there is no interest. By doing so no interval of time elapses
between the acquisition of the interest and the taking-out of the policy, and this may be
useful from a business point of view. Two examples will make this clear. Where carriers
wish to insure against their liability as carriers they often take out policies - say for one
year - 'as interest may appear'. They may carry no goods when they affect the insurance,
but the moment goods are loaded on board their conveyance the policy attaches, and they
are protected from the very first moment.

Value of Insurable Interest

Any person may insure the whole of his interest. Thus the owner may insure the whole
value, and the mortgager the value of the sum advanced.

Rights against Third Parties

As insurance is designed to furnish compensation for losses automatically, and
independently of the solvency of any person liable, the existence of an action for
damages does not prevent the person entitled to compensation from insuring. Thus
where a charterer undertook to indemnify the owner for any loss, the owner was

nevertheless held entitled to insure. Likewise, a cargo-owner may insure though he
has a remedy cover, against the ship-owner. In such cases the assured is, of course,
not entitled to keep both the damages and the insurance money, because if he gets the
damages he has lost nothing, and if he gets the insurance money he has suffered no


Closely connected with the concept of insurable interest is the principle of
indemnity, under which the assured is entitled to be compensated precisely to the
extent of the loss he has suffered as a result of the occurrence of an event against
which the insurer has agreed to protect him. In other words, the assured is not
permitted to make a profit on the insurance.'


From the doctrine of indemnity two rules are derived. The first is that where the
insurer settles for a total loss the assured must abandon what is left of the thing
insured to the underwriter. The other rule is expressed in the doctrine of
subrogation. Under this doctrine, if the loss or damage is occasioned through the
negligence or other unlawful act of a third party, so that the assured can claim
damages, or if the assured has a contractual right to compensation, then the Insurer
IS entitled to take over such rights on settling the loss.

Insurers felt aggrieved by this state of the law. In their opinion it gave a purely
accidental, and therefore unreasonable, advantage or disadvantage, as the case might
be, to insurers of ships belonging to the same owners, which come into collision.

To meet this difficulty, there is inserted in hull policies a 'sister ship clause, which
provides that in the event of a collision between ships belonging to the same owners
'the Assured shall have the same rights under this insurance as they would have were
the other vessel entirely the property of Owners not interested in the vessel hereby

Utmost Good Faith

The principle of good faith is common to the entire law of contract, but the law of
insurance requires an even higher standard. This is necessary because of the special
circumstances prevailing in this trade, which put the insurer peculiarly at the mercy
of the assured.

Good Faith in All Contracts

Under the general law no party to a contract must misrepresent essential facts to the
other party. However innocent the misrepresentation, the other party can avoid the
contract, if the false statement was material and had induced him to contract". That

is if but for the misrepresentation, the other party could not have been reasonably
expected to make the agreement. In general, only actual misrepresentations entitle
the innocent party to rescind the contract. On the other hand, failure to disclose a
material fact is, as a rule, unobjectionable. For example, if you wish to enter into a
service agreement, and on inquiry wrongfully, though innocently, say that you are
healthy the prospective employer may avoid the contract. On the other hand, if you
are not asked about your health and do not disclose that you are a carrier of germs,
the employer has no right of rescission, however material this fact may have been in
his decision whether to employ you.


The general rule may be sufficient for ordinary contracts, but it is certainly
unsatisfactory in certain cases where one party is peculiarly defenceless in case of the
non-disclosure of material matters. This rule has therefore been tightened, for
instance, in the law relating to limited companies, and it has always been more
stringent in the law of insurance. Insurance would obviously be impossible as a
genuine business unless the insurer could rely upon having knowledge of all the
matters known to the prospective assured and which enable him to calculate carefully
the probable incidence of the risk.


A person who is about to effect a policy must therefore not only make no active
misrepresentations, but must also disclose to the insurer every material circumstance,
that is, everything which 'would influence the judgment of a prudent insurer in fixing
the premium, or determining whether he will take the risk'. Disclosure must be made
before the contract is made. As already explained, marine insurance business is
transacted in a somewhat informal manner, and it may be some time before the
policy is issued. For this reason, the moment at which the contract is actually
concluded has been the subject of some debate. It has therefore been provided that
the contract is deemed to have been concluded when the insurer has accepted the
proposal, and this is commonly proved by the slip bearing the insurer's initials.

Of course, in the ordinary way a person can only be expected to disclose facts which
he knows, but insurance business would be even riskier than it is if the prospective
assured were allowed to take shelter behind his bad memory or ignorance. In the eye
of the law a prospective assured is deemed to have knowledge of every circumstance
which, in the ordinary course of business, ought to be known by him'. Where an
agent, e.g. a Lloyd's broker, negotiates the policy, he must disclose to the insurer
every material circumstance that he should know in the ordinary course of his
business and all that ought to have been communicated to him by his principal.
However, if the assured hears of a material fact when it is too late to be
communicated to the agent before the risk is accepted then failure to disclose, will
not entitle the insurer to avoid the policy.

It should be noted that what in old cases is called concealment need not necessarily
mean that some material fact was deliberately or fraudulently suppressed.
Concealment there means simply what now is termed non-disclosure. In the modern
law fraudulent concealment gives, of course, also a right to avoid the policy. Besides,
the insurer may bring an action for deceit. While the law thus imposes a heavy
burden on the assured, this rule should not be unduly extended.

Some practical definitions

Who is an Insurance Broker?

He is an expert, well versed in marine insurance law and practice
He is the agent of insured and not of the underwriter or company
The broker is subject to the law of agency
Failure on his part to exercise reasonable care and skill in executing insurance as
per clients instruction may render him liable to action for damages
Broker is duty bound to disclose all material facts to insurer.
The broker is directly liable to the insurer for premium.
He has lien on policy for premium and his charges.

Who is an Insurance Agent?

An insurance agent is duly licensed by the controller of insurance, government of
Agent represents the insurance company and not the insured
Agent gets his commission from the insurance company
Agent is not liable to insured as he is not the agent of insured
In India all insurance is placed either direct with insurance company or with agent
the broker is not involved

What basic Factors the underwriter takes in account when accepting H & M risk?

Underwriter takes into account the following factors when accepting hull and machinery

Details of ship:

Type of vessel (Oil Tanker, General cargo, Container vessel etc.) Oil tanker is
higher risk vessel of as compared to container vessel.
Name of builders and place of built
Age of vessel
Age of engine
Type of engine
Deadweight / GRT
Double hull

Details of ownership and management:

Owner and how many times ownership changed
Single ship owner or fleet of ships
Management by owner or management company
Management company
Record of ownership and quality of management

Other Details:

Classification society
Last surveyed
Port of registry
Flag of convenience
Nationality of crew
Trade liner/Tramp
Trading limits/area (warranty Limits)
Nature of Cargo usually carried
Claims experience of last 5 years (Premium and claims)
Claims ratio = Incurred Claims/Net premium
Type of cover required (Time or voyage)
Duration of cover or voyage particulars
Previous insurance history, whether cover was denied at any time
Vessel given on charter (Details)
Vessel covered against P & I risks

How hull and machinery insurance is placed in the international market?

Example – Lloyd’s of London

Lloyd’s Policies: Prepared by broker; policy and Bureau slip lodged, checked, and
executed with Lloyd’s Policy Signing Office; policy impressed with seal of Policy Office
and collected by broker. Each syndicate’s line proportion insured is shown; each
subscription is a separate contract.

Assured Insurance

the line
Other U/W
Lloyd’s Policy
signing office
Initialling of
Slip by
Rate, %cover
I. Interest
Stamped &
by Lloyds
On Payment
of Premium
of Slip
Broker sends
Cover Note

Companies’ Policies: Combined policy form used (since 1939) for all subscribing
companies; prepared by broker; policy passed to Institute of London Underwriters for
checking & signing.

Example of India

Hull and machinery insurance in India is obtained directly from head office of one of the
following national insurance company:

National Insurance Company (Kolkatta)
Oriental Insurance Company (New Delhi)
New India Assurance Company
United India Insurance Company
There is no broker or agent involved in servicing of hull insurance

What is a P & I club?

P & I Club stands for Protection and Indemnity Club.

It is an insurance mutual, a Club, provides collective self-insurance to its Members. The
P & I Clubs, are a "not for profit" mutual clubs, therefore owned by its insurers
themselves. As it has no shares to issue, it does not need to make a profit or pay
dividends. The membership is comprised of common interest groups who wish to pool
their risks together in order to obtain "at cost" insurance cover. P & I is insurance in
respect of third party liabilities and expenses arising from owning ships or operating
ships as principals. Each Club is controlled by its members through a Board of Directors
(or Committee) elected from the membership; the Board (or Committee) retains
responsibility for strategic and policy issues but delegates to full-time managers the day-
to-day running of the Club.

Protection covers the third party liability of ship-owner/member for which he is liable by
owning and operating ship, whereas Indemnity covers the third party liability of the
member for which he becomes liable by carrying cargo. For instance, a few P & I Clubs

Swedish Club

What liabilities do P & I clubs cover?

Liabilities in respect of seamen
Liabilities in respect of passengers
Liabilities in respect of persons other than seamen or passengers
Diversion expenses
Liabilities and expenses in relation to deserters, stowaways and refugees
Liabilities for life salvage
Collision with other vessels
Loss of or damage to property
Liability arising under certain indemnities and contracts
Wreck liabilities
Quarantine expenses
Cargo liabilities
Unrecoverable general average contributions
Ship's proportion of general average
Property on board the insured vessel
Special compensation to salvers

Inquiries and criminal proceedings
Liabilities and expenses incurred by direction of the Managers
Sue and labour and legal costs

What are the member’s (Master’s) obligations with regard to claims under P & I

A member must promptly notify the Managers of every casualty, event or claim
upon him, which is liable to give rise to a claim upon the Association, and of
every event or matter which is liable to cause the member’s to incur liabilities,
costs or expenses for which he may be insured by the Association.

A member must promptly notify the Managers of every surveyor opportunity for
survey in connection with a matter, which is liable to give rise to a claim.

A member must at all times promptly notify the Managers of any information,
documents or reports in his or his agents' possession, power or knowledge
relevant to such casualty, event or matter as is referred to under (i) and shall
further, whenever so requested by the Managers, promptly produce to the
Association and/or allow the Association or its agents to inspect, copy or
photograph, all relevant documents of whatsoever nature in his or his agents'
possession or power.

Member shall permit the Association or its agents to interview any servant, agent
or other person who may have been employed by the Owner at the material time
or at any time thereafter or whom the Association may consider likely to have any
direct or indirect knowledge of the matter or who may have been under a duty at
any time to report to the Owner in connection therewith.

A member shall not settle or admit liability for any claim for which the
Association may insure him without prior written consent of the Managers.

In the event that a member commits any breach of his obligations above, the
Directors may in their discretion reject any claim by the Owner against the
Association arising out of the casualty, event or matter, or reduce the sum payable
by the Association in respect thereof by such amount as they may determine.

Time Bar for claims

A member fails to notify the Managers of any casualty, event or claim within one
year after he has knowledge thereof; or

A member fails to submit a claim to the Managers for reimbursement of any
liabilities, costs or expenses within one year after discharging or settling the same

A member claim against the Association shall be discharged and the Association
shall be under no further liability in respect thereof unless the Directors in their
discretion shall otherwise determine

Hull and Machinery Coverage

The purpose of the Hull and Machinery Coverage

The main purpose of the Hull and Machinery cover is to provide the ship-owner with an
expectation of status quo regarding a vessel’s operational ability during a maritime
enterprise. Since marine perils are a risk that the ship-owner assumes at each venture, the
ship-owner takes out Hull Cover to protect against losses that may occur to the vessel and
her equipment during the enterprise.

Coverage concerns The English Institute Time Clauses Hulls (ITCH) have forms for
years 1983 and 1995 (1/11/95). However, the 1983 Form is the more widely followed

Hull & Machinery insurance based on ITCH covers all risks subject to the normal
exclusions for wear and tear and similar causes such as lack of maintenance.
Furthermore, war risks, intervention by a state power, insolvency and nuclear perils are
also excluded. Damage to parts that are defective due to error in design or faulty material
is also covered. The Plan covers 4/4ths collision liability and liability which is a result of
striking fixed and floating objects (RDC- Running Down Clause and FFO-Fixed and
Floating Objects) while the ITCH covers 3/4ths RDC but not FFO and the American
Conditions cover 4/4ths collision liability but not FFO. The advantage of an all risks
system is that all causes of loss however unusual or unimaginable are covered unless the
insurer can establish that a specific exclusion applies.

The ITCH and the American Conditions provide cover on a named perils basis (the
Assured must prove that the loss or damage was caused by one of the insured perils), but
are usually supplemented by an Additional Perils clause. With this clause added the
ITCH and American Conditions will cover nearly all losses that might arise in practice
and which are covered by the Plan. An exception to this is that under the Additional
Perils clause 2 the cost of repairing or replacing any part that is defective due to error in
design or construction is excluded unless the defect has caused consequential damage or
the costs can be defined as a cost listed in clause 1 of the Additional Perils clause. There
is no equivalent restriction in the Plan §12-4. On the other hand the Plan contains specific
rules excluding losses arising from lack of maintenance, which are probably more
stringent than the rules that follow from MIA (the Marine Insurance Act) section 55 and
English case law. The relationship between the cover for "perils of the sea" and the
exclusion of wear and tear in MIA S.55 has caused considerable discussion particularly in
connection with the decision in the “Miss Jay Jay” case.

The recent English Court of Appeal decision in the "Nukila" case seems to expand cover
under clause.6.2. of the ITCH compared to the traditional view in that any damage

occurring during the policy period as a result of any latent defect is covered. If the term
latent defect includes an error in design and is not excluded by the exclusion for inherent
vice in MIA S.55 then the cover under §6.2 for loss caused by latent defects appears to be
equivalent to that provided by the Plan. This means that the Additional Perils clause
could provide less cover than the “Inchmaree” clause, clause 6.2 in this type of situation.

Under the Plan (§ 12-2) the assured cannot claim compensation for un-repaired damage
unless ownership of the vessel has passed from the assured (normally by sale). Under
ITCH (Clause 18) the assured may claim for un-repaired damage at the termination of the
policy (but not in the event of a subsequent total loss sustained during the policy period).
In relation to temporary repairs, and costs incurred in expediting repairs the Plan (§§ 12-7
and 12-8) provides coverage for extra expenses incurred in order for the assured to save
(costs and) time, with certain limitations. Under British law there is no similar provision
and the insurer is liable for “reasonable cost of repairs…”, which normally is the cheapest
repair alternative.

It is important to be aware of the nuances and exclusions from Hull coverage as well as to
be aware of coverage options and requirements. For instance, although the ship,
equipment and spare parts are covered by the Hull insurance, loose items that accompany
the ship in its trade, but which cannot be deemed to be a part of it, e.g. stores and supplies
are covered under the ITCH, but not under the Plan. As a result, the ship-owner may
consider purchasing additional insurance coverage for items falling outside of the Plan’s
coverage provisions. However, many times, the loss and/or damage of such items fall
well below the deductible amount. Therefore, an individual assessment should be made.

Another important consideration is coverage of items that are not normally on board the
ship for an indefinite or prolonged period of time. The Plan’s prerequisite for covering
equipment and spare parts under the Hull coverage is that they are normally on board.
According to the Plan, actual ownership is irrelevant so long as there is a transfer of
liability of risk. Accordingly the ship-owner does not have to take out a separate property
insurance for equipment that he does not own, but for which he carries the risk. Of
interest is the Plan’s coverage of third party interests, which now includes spare parts
unlike the coverage terms in the Plan of 1964.

ITCH has to be supplemented by the Leased Equipment Clause 1/11/95) in order to
provide the assured with this type of coverage. There is, however, an important
reservation in that the liability of the insurers shall not exceed the assured contractual
liability for the leased equipment, or its replacement value. This means that, when
examining any claim involving leased equipment, it will be essential to call for the
contract of hire in order to ascertain what the assured contractual liability is.

Items that are temporarily removed from the ship is another area worth focusing upon.
The Hull cover becomes applicable in connection with loading and discharging, routine
overhauling of special equipment and when machinery or equipment is sent to special
repair yards. The prerequisite for cover under § 10-2 of the Plan is that the relevant object
has been on board and that the intention is to put it back on board before departure.

(Thus, new equipment on its way from the manufacturer to the ship is not covered by the
hull insurance.) ITCH has to be supplemented by the Parts Removed Clause (1/11/95).
Cover is limited to 30 days whilst removed. Period in excess of 30 days is held covered at
terms to be agreed provided notice is given to insurers prior to the expiry of the 30-day

Furthermore, the Plan provides for the additional condition that objects are removed in
connection with the operation of the ship or due to situations such as repair or rebuilding.
Items such as forklift trucks and other objects accompanying the ship will have to be
indemnified by the hull insurer if they are damaged while ashore in connection with
loading or discharging. It is important that the ship-owner is aware of the absolute
condition that the objects removed from the ship are intended to be brought back on
board before departure from the port in question. ITCH has to be supplemented by the
Parts removed Clause (1/11/95), see the previous section.

If the interest covered by the insurance is mortgaged, the Plan provides coverage also for
the mortgagee interest – in other words the mortgagee is automatically co-insured , which
is not the case with other third parties. Under ITCH the mortgagee has to require the
mortgagor ship-owner to assign the hull policies in his favour. This is frequently achieved
by endorsements on the ship-owners’ policies noting the interest of the mortgagee.

Timing of Insurance

The standard coverage normally run for a period of 12 months and need to be
renegotiated at each renewal. Coverage for new equipment and spare parts commences
from the time the object concerned is "swung over the railing" to be placed onboard ship.
The ship-owner should also be aware of the situations where coverage can be denied or

Duty of disclosure of the person affecting the insurance

The Assured has, before the insurance contract is concluded, an obligation to disclose all
circumstances that are material to the insurer when deciding whether and on what
conditions he is prepared to accept the insurance. Included in this obligation are situations
where the person affecting the insurance subsequently becomes aware that he has given
incorrect or incomplete information regarding the risk - he then has a duty to notify the
insurer without undue delay.

If the person affecting the insurance has fraudulently failed to fulfil his duty of
disclosure, the contract is not binding on the insurer. (the Plan § 3-2). If the insurer, at the
time when the information should have been given, knew or ought to have known of the
matter, he is prevented from pleading that incorrect or incomplete information has been

Alteration of the risk

An alteration of the risk occurs when there is a change in the circumstances, which,
according to the insurance contract, are to form the basis of the insurance. It is,
furthermore, a prerequisite that it alters the risk contrary to the implied conditions of the

If an alteration of the risk occurs, the insurer may terminate the insurance by giving 14
days’ notice. The assured has duty to notify the insurer without undue delay if he
becomes aware that an alteration of the risk will take place or an alteration has already
taken place. Examples of alteration of risk are:

– Loss of class or change of classification society
– Trading limits
– Change of ownership

These examples are commented further below.


The insurer is not liable for a loss that is a consequence of the ship not being in a
seaworthy condition. A prerequisite is that the assured knew or ought to have known of
the ship’s defects at such a time that it would have been possible for him to intervene. In
respect of ITCH: For the insurer to avoid liability English law requires that the assured
should be privy to the un-seaworthiness. In other words, the assured must have
knowledge not only of the facts constituting the un-seaworthiness but also knowledge
that those facts rendered the ship un-seaworthy.

Safety regulations, breach of safety regulations – Warranties

A safety regulation is a rule that deals with measures for the prevention of loss. It can be
issued by public authorities or by the classification society, stipulated in the insurance
contract or prescribed by the insurer in accordance with the insurance contract. If the
assured is in breach of a safety regulation, the insurer is only liable to the extent that it is
proved that the loss is not a consequence of the breach, or that the assured was not
responsible for the breach.

ITCH does not use the term safety regulations. The area is addressed by warranties.
Under English law a warranty is strictly to be complied with, whether material to the risk
or not. In case of breach, the insurer is discharged from liability as from the date of
breach of warranty (subject however to certain excuses).


If the assured intentionally brings about the casualty, he has no claim against the insurer.

Gross negligence

Any liability of the insurer shall be determined based on the degree of fault and
circumstances generally.

Classification, Lack of classification by a class society

A prerequisite for insurance coverage is that the ship is classed with a classification
society approved by the insurer. It is no requirement under ITCH 1/10/83 (contrary to
1/11/95) that the vessel must be classed. However, if the vessel is actually classed, the
insurance terminates automatically at the time of change, suspension, withdrawal or
expiry of Class/Classification society.

The insurance automatically terminates in the event of loss, suspension or change of
class. Any failure to carry out a class recommendation or survey within the required time
limit under the Plan is treated as a breach of a safety regulation. This means that the
insurance remains in force but the insurer is not liable for loss or damage that is caused
by the failure to comply with class requirements. By contrast a failure to carry out a
periodic survey within the time allowed results in automatic termination of the cover
under clause 5.1 of the ITCH 1995 and clause 4 states that a failure by the assured to
comply with any recommendation, requirement or restriction imposed by class, will
discharge insurers from liability as from the time of the breach.

Change of ownership, management

Change of ownership can have an influence on the risk that the insurer has undertaken.
An alteration of the risk occurs when there is a change in circumstances which, according
to the contract, are to form the basis of the insurance, and which alter the risk contrary to
the implied conditions of the contract.

The Plan provides for automatic termination of coverage in the event of change of
ownership. The same result follows from ITCH clause 4 (1983) clause 5 (1995). The Plan
stipulates that any change of management or bareboat charterer is an alteration of the
risk. This means that if a change of management is made without the insurer being
notified the insurer can only avoid liability for losses that have occurred after the change
by proving that he would not have accepted the risk had he known that the change would
be made during the currency of the policy. Under the ITCH a change of management etc.
made without giving notice to and obtaining the consent of the insurer results in
automatic termination.

Loss due to ordinary use

The insurer is not liable for loss that is a normal consequence of the use of the ship and
its equipment. The deciding factor is that the insured has deliberately used the ship in a
manner or in a trade where damage is foreseeable (the Plan § 10-3). This reflects a central
principle of insurance law, i.e. that the insurance shall only cover unforeseeable and
unpredictable losses. It is accordingly also the case under the ITCH and the American

Institute Hull Clause

Inadequate maintenance

The insurer is not liable for costs incurred in renewing or repairing a part or parts of the
hull, machinery or equipment which are in a defective condition as a result of wear and
tear, corrosion, rottenness, inadequate maintenance and the like. On the other hand the
consequential damages are covered.

Also under ITCH the consequential damages are covered

Trading limits

The Plan §3-15 requires that the assured shall notify the insurer before the ship proceeds
beyond the ordinary trading limit. The ship may sail in the conditional trading areas,
subject to an additional premium and to any other conditions that might be invoked by
the insurer. If the ship proceeds into an excluded trading area the insurance ceases to be
in effect. The insurer can, however, give permission in advance. If the infringement was
not the result of an intentional act by the master of the ship the insurance is still in effect.

Under the ITCH the ship is held covered provided prompt notice is given. If notice is not
given the assured will be unable to recover anything if loss or damage occurs while the
ship is outside the ordinary trading limits.

Identification – Are the actions those of the assured?

One of the changes introduced into the 1995 ITCH that caused the most controversy was
the change in the wording of the due diligence proviso in clause 6.2. It now specifically
states that not only a lack of due diligence by the assured, owner or managers, but also by
a superintendent, can deprive the assured of cover. It is, however, important to note that
this only applies in respect of the perils so named in clause.

The Plan deals with this problem in general terms. It states firstly that negligence of the
master or crew in their service as the insurer cannot plead seamen as a defence. Secondly
it is stated that the actions of persons or companies to whom functions of significant
importance for the insurance have been delegated will be regarded as the actions of the
Assured. The commentary to this rule makes it clear that this wording is intended to be an
expression of existing practice and is not intended to introduce any change. It is assumed

that it is in line with general principles of both English and American law. In reality the
courts will have to evaluate each case to decide whether the person at fault has had the
kind of authority that justifies that his actions are identified as the actions of the Assured.

What is a Letter of Credit?

A Letter of Credit is a payment term generally used for international sales transactions. It
is basically a mechanism, which allows importers/buyers to offer secure terms of
payment to exporters/sellers in which a bank (or more than one bank) gets involved. The
technical term for Letter of credit is 'Documentary Credit'. At the very outset one must
understand is that Letters of credit deal in documents, not goods. The idea in an
international trade transaction is to shift the risk from the actual buyer to a bank. Thus a
LC (as it is commonly referred to) is a payment undertaking given by a bank to the seller
and is issued on behalf of the applicant i.e. the buyer. The Buyer is the Applicant and the
Seller is the Beneficiary. The Bank that issues the LC is referred to as the Issuing Bank,
which is generally in the country of the Buyer. The Bank that Advises the LC to the
Seller is called the Advising Bank, which is generally in the country of the Seller.

The specified bank makes the payment upon the successful presentation of the required
documents by the seller within the specified time frame. Note that the Bank scrutinizes
the 'documents' and not the 'goods' for making payment. Thus the process works both in
favour of both the buyer and the seller. The Seller gets assured that if documents are
presented on time and in the way that they have been requested on the LC the payment
will be made and Buyer on the other hand is assured that the bank will thoroughly
examine these presented documents and ensure that they meet the terms and conditions
stipulated in the LC.

What documents are generally required a Letter of Credit (LC)?

Typically the documents requested in a Letter of Credit are the following:
Commercial invoice
Transport document such as a Bill of lading
Insurance document;
Inspection Certificate
Certificate of Origin

But there could be others too.

Letters of credit (LC) deal in documents, not goods. The LC could be 'irrevocable' or
'revocable'. An irrevocable LC cannot be changed unless both the buyer and seller agree.
Whereas in a revocable LC changes to the LC can be made without the consent of the
beneficiary. A 'sight' LC means that payment is made immediately to the
beneficiary/seller/exporter upon presentation of the correct documents in the required
time frame. A 'time' or 'date' LC will specify when payment will be made at a future date
and upon presentation of the required documents.

What are the Principles Governing LC?

Article 5 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) governs L/Cs. Article 5 is founded on
two principles: (1) the L/C, independence from the underlying business transaction, and
(2) strict compliance with documentary requirements.

1) Strict Compliance

How strict a compliance? Some courts insist upon literal compliance, so that a misspelled
name or typographical error voids the exporter's/beneficiary's/seller's demand for
payment. Other courts require payment upon substantial compliance with documentary
requirements. The bank may insist upon strict compliance with the requirements of the
L/C. In the absence of conformity with the L/C, the Seller cannot force payment and the
bank pays at its own risk. Sellers should be careful and remember that the bank may
insist upon strict compliance with all documentary requirements in the LC. If the
documents do not conform, the bank should give the seller prompt, detailed notice,
specifying all discrepancies and shortfalls.

2) The Independence Doctrine

Letters of credit deal in documents, not goods. L/Cs are purely documentary transactions,
separate and independent from the underlying contract between the Buyer and the Seller.
The bank honouring the L/C is concerned only to see that the documents conform to the
requirements in the L/C. If the documents conform, the bank will pay, and obtain
reimbursement from the Buyer/Applicant. The bank need not look past the documents to
examine the underlying sale of merchandise or the product itself. The letter of credit is
independent from the underlying transaction and, except in rare cases of fraud or forgery,
the issuing bank must honour conforming documents. Thus, Sellers are given protections
that the issuing bank must honour its demand for payment (which complies with the
terms of the L/C) regardless of whether the goods conform to the underlying sale

3) Most Common Reasons why Letters of Credit Fail

a) Time Lines:

The letter of credit should have an expiration date that gives sufficient time to the seller
to get all the tasks specified and the documents required in the LC. If the letter of credit
expires, the seller is left with no protection. Most LC s fail because
Sellers/Exporters/Beneficiaries were unable to perform within the specified time frame in
the LC. Three dates are of importance in an LC:

i) The date by when shipment should have occurred. The date on the Bill of Lading.
ii) The date by when documents have to be presented to the Bank
iii) The expiry date of the LC itself.

A good source to give you an idea of the timelines would be your freight forwarding
agent. As a seller check with your freight forwarding agent to see if you would be in a
position to comply.

b) Discrepancy within the Letter of Credit

Letters of credit could also have discrepancies. Even a discrepancy as small as a missing
period or comma can render the document invalid. Thus, the earlier in the process the
letter of credit is examined, the more time is available to identify and fix the problem.
This is another common reason why LC fail.

c) Compliance with the Documents and Conditions within the Letter of Credit

Letters of credit are about documents and not facts; the inability to produce a given
document at the right time will nullify the letter of credit. As a
Seller/Exporter/Beneficiary you should try and run the compliance issues with the
various department or individuals involved within your organization to see if compliance
would be a problem. And if so, have the LC amended before shipping the goods.

What are the differences between York Antwerp74 and 94?

Y.A. 1994 Y. A. 1974
1. Rule paramount In no case shall there be any allowance for sacrifice or expenditure
unless reasonably made or incurred.
No rule Paramount (Reasonable)
2. Order of application: Rule paramount, numbered rules, lettered rules (Interpretation
Order of application: Numbered rules then
lettered rules (Interpretation rule)
3. There is a common maritime adventure when one or more vessels are towing
or pushing another vessel or vessels, provided that they are all involved in
commercial activities and not in a salvage operation. (Rule B)
No mention of towing, pushing vessels or
salvage operations
4. Pollution liability is of the ship-owner and not GA: In no case shall there be any
allowance in general average for losses, damages or expenses incurred in respect of
damage to the environment or in consequence of the escape or release of pollutant
substances from the property involved in the common maritime adventure. (Rule
Pollution Liability is not mentioned in these
5. All parties claiming in general average shall give notice in writing to the average
adjuster of the loss or expense in respect of which they claim contribution within
12 months of the date of the termination of the common maritime adventure
otherwise an Adjuster does adjustment on basis of facts available to him. (Rule E)
No such requirement
6. After G.A. if cargo is forwarded to the destination from P.O.R : the rights and
liabilities in general average shall remain as nearly as possible the same as they
would have been in the absence of such forwarding. (Rule G)
No such provision
7. When a ship is intentionally run on shore for the common safety, whether or not
she might have been driven on shore, the consequent loss or damage to the
property involved in the common maritime adventure shall be allowed in general
average. (Rule V)
When a ship is intentionally run on shore for
the common safety, whether or not she might
have been driven on shore, the consequent
loss or damage shall be allowed in general
average. (Could have included damage to the
third party)

Y.A. 1994 Y.A. 1974
8. Salvage Award as fixed per criteria in article 13 of ISC 89( including the criteria
the skill and efforts of the salvers in preventing or minimising damage to the
environment, to be allowed as G.A.
Was silent as there was no such provision in
Earlier salvage convention 1910.
9. Special compensation payable to a salver by the ship-owner under Article 14 ISC
89 or under any other provision similar in substance shall not be allowed in general
average. (Rule VI)
Was silent as there was no such provision in
Earlier salvage convention 1910.
10. Cargo, ship's materials and stores, or any of them, necessarily used for fuel for the
common safety at a time of peril shall be admitted as general average. (Rule VIII)
Ship's materials and stores, or any of them,
necessarily burnt for fuel for the common
safety at a time of peril, shall be admitted as
general average.
11. The cost of measures undertaken to prevent or minimise damage to the
environment shall be allowed in general average when incurred in any or all of the
following circumstances:
as a condition of entry into or departure from any port or place in consequence of
accident, sacrifice or other extraordinary circumstances which render that
necessary for the common safety;
as a condition of remaining at any port or place in the circumstances prescribed in
Rule X(a), provided that when there is an actual escape or release of pollutant
substances the cost of any additional measures required on that account to prevent
or minimise pollution or environmental damage shall not be allowed as general
necessarily in connection with the discharging, storing or reloading of cargo
whenever the cost of those operations is admissible as general average.

Was silent as there was no such provision in
Earlier salvage convention 1910.
12. No deduction in contributory value of ship for special compensation. No such deduction
13. If voyage is abandoned: Net value of cargo at destination if forwarded to
destination to be taken as contributory value. Where as for ship the value on
completion of discharge will be contributory value.

Y.A. 1994 Y.A. 1974
14. Interest shall be allowed on expenditure, sacrifices and allowances in general
average at the rate of 7 per cent. per annum, until three months after the date of
issue of the general average adjustment, due allowance being made for any
payment on account by the contributory interests or from the general average
deposit fund.
Interest shall be allowed on expenditure,
sacrifices and allowances charged to general
average at the rate of seven per cent per
annum, until the date of the general average
statement, due allowance being made for any
interim reimbursement from the contributory
interests or from the general average deposit

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Summary of the main changes to LOF with regard to Marine Insurance

Property liable for the payment of salvage [Box 2]

LOF 2000 provides for personal effects and baggage belonging to passengers and the
Master and crew of a vessel, including any private motor vehicle and its contents
accompanying a passenger, to be exempt from the payment of salvage.

Currency of Award [Box 4]

LOF has traditionally provided that, if no specific currency of payment was agreed, the
remuneration should be paid in pounds sterling. However, it has become increasingly
apparent in recent years that most users of LOF select United States dollars as the
currency of payment. Additionally, ship values are invariably expressed in that currency
which, more often than not, is also the currency in which cargoes are bought, sold and
insured. In recognition of these factors, LOF 2000 provides that, if no alternative
currency of payment is agreed, salvage remuneration will be payable in United States

The Duty to Co-operate [Clause F]

Clause 3 of LOF 1995 obliges the owners and Master of a casualty to co-operate with
salvers in certain respects. LOF 2000 extends the scope of that duty by requiring the
owners and the Master to provide the salvers with all information that is relevant to the
performance of the services, which is capable of being provided without undue difficulty
or delay.

Rights of Termination [Clause G]

Clause 4 of LOF 1995 gave ship-owners a right to terminate LOF "when there is no
longer any reasonable prospect of a useful result leading to a salvage award". In LOF
2000 an equivalent right is conferred on the salvers who, previously, had no contractual
right to terminate a LOF contract.

Deemed Performance [Clause H]

LOF 2000 includes a new provision, which is designed to provide a practical solution to
the difficulty in determining when salvage services can be treated as completed. Provided
the salved property has been taken to the agreed place of safety, the salvers will be
entitled to treat their services as having been performed if

(i) they are not obliged to remain in attendance to satisfy the requirements of any port or
harbour authority, governmental agency or similar authority; and
(ii) the continuation of skilled salvage services is no longer necessary to avoid the
property becoming lost or significantly further damaged or delayed.

SCOPIC Clause [Box 7 and Clause C]

In August 1999 an agreement made between the members of the International Salvage
Union and the International Group of P & I Clubs known as the SCOPIC Clause became
available for use. Its purpose is to provide an alternative regime for the determination of
claims for special compensation under Article 14 of the 1989 Salvage Convention which
would otherwise be dealt with by arbitration under LOF. The Convention incorporated
changes in the classes of property capable of being salved and the scope of remuneration
to salvers where there was no success in the traditional sense of no cure-no pay, but
services had been rendered which prevented or minimised damage to the environment
The SCOPIC Clause is expressed to be supplemental to LOF but, since it was only
introduced for a trial period, it was not considered appropriate to include more than a
brief reference to it in LOF 2000. The box layout in the new form includes a facility
enabling the parties to specify whether SCOPIC forms part of their agreement. LOF 2000
goes on to provide that, if the box is left blank, SCOPIC will not be regarded as
incorporated into the contract.

The LSSA Clauses

Most of the administrative and procedural provisions in LOF 1995 have been transferred
into these incorporated clauses without significant change although, where possible, the
language has been simplified. But the opportunity has been taken to make the following

(i) The Clauses emphasise the need to operate the LOF system in good faith and in a
businesslike manner with a view to ensuring that claims are resolved fairly and efficiently
at a reasonable cost.
(ii) The arrangements for paying salvage awards have been streamlined to improve
efficiency and Lloyd's will now have a duty to enforce salvage security if payment is
delayed beyond 56 days after publication of an award.
(iii) Under section 49 of the Arbitration Act 1996 arbitrators have power to award
compound interest on claims. The Working Party considered that, ordinarily, only simple
interest should be awarded on LOF salvage claims. This is stated in LOF 2000 but the
clause goes on to provide that an arbitrator may award compound interest if the
proceedings have been delayed for an excessive period as a result of 'gross misconduct'
on the part of the property owners or "in other exceptional circumstances".
(iv) Clause 18 of LOF 1995 which deals with the position of subcontractors has been
substantially re-drafted to ensure that the claims of all persons engaged by the LOF
contractor are dealt with under the LOF thus providing greater certainty and protection to
the property interests.

Lloyd's Procedural Rules

These were introduced in 1990 to provide a standard procedure for dealing with claims
under LOF. They have been altered piecemeal on several occasions in the last 10 years
but, in the latest revision, the rules have been re-structured to make them easier to

understand. Also, in line with recent changes to court procedures, the new rules give
arbitrators greater powers to control proceedings including, for example, the power to
place limitations on expert evidence to contain costs.

The nine essential features of the SCOPIC Clause

1. SCOPIC is drafted so that it can be incorporated into a Lloyd's Open Form if the
parties to that contract so desire. It is not intended to be compulsory.

2. Members of the International Group of P & I Clubs, who have agreed a Code of
Conduct giving Club backing to its provisions, have accepted the provisions of
P & I Clubs are normally not parties to a salvage contract and, therefore, cannot be
bound by a new clause to an LOF contract. However, the Code of Conduct will
apply whenever a member of the ISU salves a ship entered with a member of the
International Group. In individual cases, the Code can be extended to other salvers
or Clubs, but that will be a matter between them and the particular Club concerned.

3. SCOPIC does not do away with Special Compensation as we know it, but merely
replaces its method of assessment.
Special Compensation (SCOPIC remuneration) will continue to be paid only to the
extent that its assessment exceeds any Article 13 award.

The SCOPIC remuneration provisions can be invoked at any time by a contractor,
whatever the circumstances. The choice as to whether or not to enact the clause is
entirely a matter for the salver. There does not have to be a threat of damage to the
environment. However, the assessment of SCOPIC remuneration will only
commence at the time the salver invokes the clause (not from the commencement
of the services). As a result, the salver will, in every case, have to make a
conscious decision as to whether he wishes the SCOPIC remuneration provisions
to apply. If he does not invoke the clause, they will not apply.

As soon as the SCOPIC remuneration provisions are invoked, the owner must
provide, within two working days, a guarantee for USD 3 million.
The security of USD 3 million must be lodged regardless of the total amount of
SCOPIC remuneration that may be payable. There are provisions for reducing or
increasing the figure at the termination of the services. The Clubs have agreed, in
the Code of Conduct, to provide security on behalf of an entered member, unless
there is a defence to any claim he may have. If this guarantee is not provided, the
contractor, at his option, can withdraw his notice invoking the SCOPIC provisions
and revert to the Lloyd's Form as if it had not incorporated SCOPIC.

SCOPIC remuneration is assessed in accordance with tariff rates. Tariff rates have
been agreed for tugs of differing horsepower, together with personnel and
equipment likely to be used in a salvage operation. The tariff rates are profitable
rates. A fairly broad brush had to be used in setting up the tariffs and it is intended
that they should do rough justice. A standard uplift of 25% of the tariff rates will
be added. The benefits of such a system are substantial and an enormous
improvement on past attempts to assess a "fair rate". It should be possible, by using
the tariff, to make a calculation at the end of each day of operation to gauge the
amount of SCOPIC remuneration that has accrued.

7. In the event of the salvers invoking SCOPIC remuneration provisions and the
Article 13 award exceeding the assessment of SCOPIC remuneration, the Article
13 award will be discounted by 25% of the difference between the Article 13
award and the SCOPIC assessment. This provision has been inserted to encourage
the salver not to invoke the SCOPIC provisions in every case. The benefit of a
reduced Article 13 award accrues to the property underwriters.

As soon as SCOPIC has been invoked, the ship-owner can appoint a Special
Casualty Representative (SCR), to monitor the salvage services and be kept fully
advised as to how the operation is to be carried out. The SCR will not in any way
impinge on the authority of the Salvage Master, who will always remain in overall
control and responsible for the operation. It will, however, be incumbent upon the
Salvage Master to keep the SCR fully advised and listen to his views. The Salvage
Master will be required to make daily reports and the SCR to either endorse those
reports, or make clear with what aspect he disagrees. The provision is particularly
important to the P & I Clubs, who have long felt that they have not been kept
sufficiently advised as to the progress of the salvage operations, which may
ultimately affect their interests.

9. Once the SCOPIC remuneration provisions have been invoked, the whole Lloyd's
Form contract can be terminated (1) by the contractor, if the overall cost to him
less any SCOPIC remuneration is greater than the value of the property salved, and
(2) by the owner, after giving five days' notice to the contractor. These additional
rights to terminate the whole contract are important. From the contractor's point of
view, he will be able to do so as soon as it is clear that it is not in his financial
interest to continue. So far as the owner is concerned, he will have the power to
withdraw (once SCOPIC has been invoked) at any time after giving five days'
notice. This is particularly important to the Clubs, who wish to avoid being locked
into a contract carried out by someone who they feel is inappropriate. It should not
be of a major concern to salvers as it will only apply when SCOPIC has been
invoked, which, by its nature, is only likely to be when salvage - in its traditional
form - is no longer a reasonable commercial venture.

Chapter 9: International Institutions

1. International Maritime Organisation (IMO)
What exactly is IMO?
The International Maritime Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations,
which is responsible for measures to improve the safety and security of international
shipping and to prevent marine pollution from ships through the development of a
comprehensive and effective framework of international standards surrounding the
design, construction, operation and manning of ships. It also is involved in legal matters,
including liability and compensation issues and the facilitation of international maritime
traffic. The IMO therefore provides a mechanism whereby the Governments of every
country with an interest in shipping can come together to decide on standards that are to
be applied to vessels on international voyages.
It was established by means of a Convention adopted under the auspices of the United
Nations in Geneva on 17 March 1948 and met for the first time in January 1959. It
currently has 166 Member States.
IMO governing body is the Assembly, which is made up of all 165 Member States and
meets normally once every two years. It adopts the budget for the next two years together
with technical resolutions and recommendations prepared by subsidiary bodies during the
previous two years.
The Council acts as governing body in between Assembly sessions. It prepares the budget
and work programme for the Assembly. Maritime Safety, Marine Environment
Protection, Legal, Technical Co-operation and Facilitation Committees and a number of
sub-committees carry out the main technical work.
Why do we need an international organization to look after shipping?
Shipping is an international industry. If each nation developed its own safety legislation
the result would be a maze of differing, often conflicting national laws. One nation, for
example, might insist on lifeboats being made of steel and another of glass-reinforced
plastic. Some nations might insist on very high safety standards while others might be
more lax, acting as havens for sub-standard shipping.
How has IMO Evolved?

Historical Background
Shipping is perhaps the most international of all the world's great industries. It has always
been recognized that the best way of improving safety at sea is by developing
international regulations that are followed by all shipping nations and from the mid-19th
century onwards a number of such treaties were adopted.

The industrial revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the upsurge in
international commerce, which followed, resulted in the adoption of a number of
international treaties related to shipping, including safety. The subjects covered included
tonnage measurement, the prevention of collisions, signalling and others.
By the end of the nineteenth century suggestions had even been made for the creation of a
permanent international maritime body to deal with these and future measures. The plan
was not put into effect, but international co-operation continued in the twentieth century,
with the adoption of still more internationally developed treaties.
It was not until the establishment of the United Nations itself that these hopes were
realized. In 1948 an international conference in Geneva adopted a convention formally
establishing IMO (the original name was the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative
Organization, or IMCO, but the name was changed on 22
May 1982 to IMO).

The IMO Convention entered into force in 1958 and the new Organization met for the
first time the following year.

The Development Thereafter

By the time IMO came into existence in 1958, several important international
conventions had already been developed, including the International Convention for the
Safety of Life at Sea of 1948 (SOLAS), the International Convention for the Prevention
of Pollution of the Sea by Oil of 1954 (OILPOL 54) and treaties dealing with load lines
and the prevention of collisions at sea. IMO was made responsible for ensuring that the
majority of these conventions were kept up to date. It was also given the task of
developing new conventions as and when the need arose.
The creation of IMO coincided with a period of tremendous change in world shipping
and the Organization was kept busy from the start developing new conventions and
ensuring that existing instruments kept pace with changes in shipping technology. It is
now responsible for more than 40 international conventions and agreements and has
adopted numerous protocols and amendments.
IMO first task was to adopt a new version of the International Convention for the Safety
of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the most important of all treaties dealing with maritime safety.
This was achieved in 1960 and IMO then turned its attention to such matters as the
facilitation of international maritime traffic, load lines and the carriage of dangerous
goods, while the system of measuring the tonnage of ships was revised.
But although safety was and remains IMO most important responsibility, a new problem
began to emerge - pollution. The growth in the amount of oil being transported by sea

and in the size of oil tankers was of particular concern and the Torrey Canyon disaster
of 1967, in which 120,000 tonnes of oil was spilled, demonstrated the scale of the
problem. Until then there was a general complacency that the vast oceans can withstand
the effects of pollution.
During the next few years IMO introduced a series of measures designed to prevent
tanker accidents and to minimize their consequences. It also tackled the environmental
threat caused by routine operations such as the cleaning of oil cargo tanks and the
disposal of engine room wastes - in tonnage terms a bigger menace than accidental
The most important of all these measures was the International Convention for the
Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating
thereto (MARPOL 73/78). It covers not only accidental and operational oil pollution but
also pollution by chemicals, goods in packaged form, sewage, garbage and air pollution.
Then, IMO was also given the task of establishing a system for providing compensation
to those who had suffered financially as a result of pollution. Two treaties were adopted,
in 1969 and 1971, which enabled victims of oil pollution to obtain compensation much
more simply and quickly than had been possible before. Both treaties were amended in
1992, and again in 2000, to increase the limits of compensation payable to victims of
Shipping, like all of modern life, has seen many technological innovations and changes.
Some of these have presented challenges for the Organization and others have presented
opportunities. The enormous strides made in communications technology, for example,
have made it possible for IMO to introduce major improvements to the maritime distress
In the 1970s a global search and rescue system was initiated. The 1970s also saw the
establishment of the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO), which has
greatly improved the provision of radio and other messages to ships.
In 1992 a further advance was made when the Global Maritime Distress and Safety
System (GMDSS) began to be phased in. In February 1999, the GMDSS became fully
operational, so that now a ship that is in distress anywhere in the world can be virtually
guaranteed assistance, even if the ship's crew does not have time to radio for help, as the
message will be transmitted automatically.
Other Areas
Other measures introduced by IMO have concerned the safety of containers, bulk
cargoes, liquefied gas tankers and other ship types. Special attention has been paid to

crew standards, including the adoption of a special convention on standards of training,
certification and watch keeping.
The adoption of maritime legislation is still IMO most important concern. Around 40
conventions and protocols have been adopted by the Organization and most of them have
been amended on several occasions to ensure that they are kept up to date with changes
taking place in world shipping.
But adopting treaties is not enough - they have to be put into effect. This is the
responsibility of Governments and there is no doubt that the way in which this is done
varies considerably from country to country.
IMO has introduced measures to improve the way legislation is implemented, by
assisting flag States (the countries whose flag a ship flies) and by encouraging the
establishment of regional port State control systems. When ships go to foreign ports they
can be inspected to ensure that they meet IMO standards. By organizing these inspections
on a regional rather than a purely national basis resources can be used more efficiently.
ISM Code
Two initiatives in the 1990s are especially important. On 1 July 1998 the International
Safety Management Code entered into force and became applicable to passenger ships,
oil and chemical tankers, bulk carriers, gas carriers and cargo high-speed craft of 500
gross tonnage and above. It became applicable to other cargo ships and mobile offshore
drilling units of 500 gross tonnage and above not later than 1 July 2002.
On 1 February 1997, the 1995 amendments to the International Convention on Standards
of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers, 1978 entered into force. They
greatly improve seafarer standards and, for the first time, give IMO itself powers to check
Government actions.
It is expected that these two measures, by raising standards of management and shipboard
personnel, will greatly improve safety and pollution prevention in the years to come.
Technical Co-operation
IMO has also developed a technical co-operation programme, which is designed to assist
Governments, which lack the technical knowledge, and resources that are needed to
operate a shipping industry successfully. The emphasis of this programme is very much
on training and perhaps the best example is the World Maritime University in Malmö,
Sweden, which was established in 1983 and provides advanced training for the men and
women involved in maritime administration, education and management.

IMO is now concentrating on keeping legislation up to date and ensuring that as many
countries ratify it as possible. This has been so successful that many Conventions now
apply to more than 98% of world merchant shipping tonnage. Currently the emphasis is
on trying to ensure that the countries that have accepted them properly implement these
conventions and other treaties.

Which are the areas IMO will continue to focus upon?

This has been highlighted, by a Resolution, in its objectives for the next ten years as
1. Implementation of proactive policy for early identification of risk;
2. Shifting emphasis onto people;
3. Ensuring the effective uniform implementation of existing IMO standards and
4. Ensuring the wide early acceptance of those Annexes to the MARPOL
Convention which have not yet entered into force;
5. Developing a safety culture and environmental conscience;
6. Avoiding excessive regulation;
7. Strengthening the Organization's technical co-operation programmes; and
8. Promoting the intensification by Governments and industry of efforts to prevent
and suppress unlawful acts which threaten the security of ships, the safety of those
on board and the environment (in particular, terrorism at sea, piracy and armed
robbery against ships, illicit drug trafficking, illegal migration by sea and
stowaway cases).
Who is the Secretary-General of IMO?
The Secretary-General is Mr. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos (Greece). He assumed office on
January 2004.
What is the Structure of IMO?
The Organization consists of an Assembly, a Council and four main Committees: the
Maritime Safety Committee; the Marine Environment Protection Committee; the Legal
Committee; and the Technical Co-operation Committee. There is also a Facilitation
A number of Sub-Committees support the work of the main technical committees.
This is the most important Governing Body of the Organization. It consists of all Member
States and it meets once every two years in regular sessions, but may also meet in an
extraordinary session if necessary. The Assembly is responsible for approving the work

programme, voting the budget and determining the financial arrangements of the
Organization. The Assembly also elects the Council.
The Assembly elects the Council for two-year terms beginning after each regular session
of the Assembly.
The Council is the Executive Organ of IMO and is responsible, under the Assembly, for
supervising the work of the Organization. Between sessions of the Assembly the Council
performs all the functions of the Assembly, except the function of making
recommendations to Governments on maritime safety and pollution prevention, which is
reserved, for the Assembly.
Other functions of the Council are to:
1. Co-ordinate the activities of the organs of the Organization;
2. Consider the draft work programme and budget estimates of the Organization and
submit them to the Assembly;
3. Receive reports and proposals of the Committees and other organs and submit
them to the Assembly and Member States, with comments and recommendations
as appropriate;
4. Appoint the Secretary-General, subject to the approval of the Assembly;
5. Enter into agreements or arrangements concerning the relationship of the
Organization with other organizations, subject to approval by the Assembly.
The Council Members are elected observing the following criteria:
a) Ten shall be States with the largest interest in providing international shipping
b) Ten shall be other States with the largest interest in international sea borne trade;
c) Twenty shall be States not elected under (a) or (b) above which have special
interests in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the Council
will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world.
Maritime Safety Committee (MSC)
The MSC is the most important technical body of the Organization. It consists of all
Member States. The functions of the Maritime Safety Committee are to “consider any
matter within the scope of the Organization concerned with aids to navigation,
construction and equipment of vessels, manning from a safety standpoint, rules for the
prevention of collisions, handling of dangerous cargoes, maritime safety procedures and
requirements, hydrographic information, log-books and navigational records, marine
casualty investigations, salvage and rescue and any other matters directly affecting

maritime safety”. It also has the responsibility for considering and submitting
recommendations and guidelines on safety for possible adoption by the Assembly.
The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC)
The MEPC, which consists of all Member States, is empowered to consider any matter
within the scope of the Organization concerned with prevention and control of pollution
from ships. In particular it is concerned with the adoption and amendment of conventions
and other regulations and measures to ensure their enforcement.
The MSC and MEPC are assisted in their work by nine sub-committees, which are also
open to all Member States. They deal with the following subjects:
1) Bulk Liquids and Gases (BLG)
2) Carriage of Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC)
4) Radio-communications and Search and Rescue (COMSAR)
5) Safety of Navigation (NAV)
6) Ship Design and Equipment (DE)
8) Standards of Training and Watch keeping (STW)
9) Flag State Implementation (FSI)

The Legal Committee is empowered to deal with any legal matters within the scope of
the Organization. The Committee consists of all Member States of IMO.
Technical Co-operation Committee
The Technical Co-operation Committee is required to consider any matter within the
scope of the Organization concerned with the implementation of technical co-operation
projects for which the Organization acts as the executing or co-operating agency and any
other matters related to the Organization’s activities in the technical co-operation field.
The idea is to assist the developing countries, by way of technical co-operation, that may
lack the technical expertise to implement IMO instruments.
The Technical Co-operation Committee consists of all Member States of IMO.
3) Fire Protection (FP)
7) Stability and Load Lines and Fishing Vessels Safety (SLF)
Legal Committee

Facilitation Committee
It deals with IMO work in eliminating unnecessary formalities and “red tape” in
international shipping. Participation in the Facilitation Committee is open to all Member
States of IMO.
How a Convention is adopted?
This is the part of the process with which IMO as an Organization is most closely
involved. Developments in shipping and other related industries are discussed by
Member States in the aforementioned six bodies (Assembly, Council and the four
committees), and the need for a new convention or amendments to existing conventions
can be raised in any of them.
Normally the suggestion is first made in one of the committees, since these meet more
frequently than the main organs (Assembly and Council). If agreement is reached in the
committee, the proposal goes to the Council and, as necessary, to the Assembly.
Work in the committees and sub-committees is undertaken by the representatives of
Member States of the Organization. The views and advice of intergovernmental and
international non-governmental organizations, which have a working relationship with
IMO, are also welcomed in these bodies. Many of these organizations have direct
experience in the various matters under consideration, and are therefore able to assist the
work of IMO in practical ways.
The draft convention, which is agreed upon, is reported to the Council and Assembly
with a recommendation that a conference be convened to consider the draft for formal
Invitations to attend such a conference are sent to all Member States of IMO and also to
all States, which are members of the United Nations or any of its specialized agencies.
These conferences are therefore truly global conferences open to all Governments who
would normally participate in a United Nations conference. All Governments participate
on an equal footing. In addition, organizations of the United Nations system and
organizations in official relationship with IMO are invited to send observers to the
The 1991 amendments to the IMO Convention, which established the IMO), when they
come into force, will institutionalise the Facilitation Committee, putting it on the same
standing as the other Committees. However, these amendments have not yet received
enough acceptances to come into force.
If the Assembly or the Council, as the case may be, gives the authorization to proceed
with the work, the committee concerned considers the matter in greater detail and
ultimately draws up a draft instrument. In some cases the subject may be referred to a
specialized sub-committee for detailed consideration.

conference to give the benefit of their expert advice to the representatives of
Before the conference opens, the draft convention is circulated to the invited
Governments and organizations for their comments. The draft convention, together with
the comments thereon from Governments and interested organizations is then closely
examined by the conference and necessary changes are made in order to produce a draft
acceptable to all or the majority of the Governments present. The convention thus agreed
upon is then adopted by the conference and deposited with the Secretary-General who
sends copies to Governments. The convention is opened for signature by States, usually
for a period of 12 months.
How does a new Convention enter into force?
The adoption of a convention marks the conclusion of only the first stage of a long
process. Before the convention comes into force - that is, before it becomes binding upon
Governments, which have ratified it - it has to be accepted formally by individual
For the important technical conventions therefore, it is necessary that they be accepted
and applied by a large section of the shipping community. It is therefore essential that
these should, upon entry into force, be applicable to as many of the maritime states as
possible. Otherwise they would tend to confuse, rather than clarify, shipping practice
since their provisions would not apply to a significant proportion of the ship they were
intended to deal with.
When the appropriate conditions have been fulfilled, the convention enters into force for
the States that have accepted - generally after a period of grace intended to enable all the
States to take the necessary measures for implementation.
Accepting a convention does not merely involve the deposit of a formal instrument. A
Government's acceptance of a convention necessarily places on it the obligation to take
the measures required by the convention. Often national law has to be enacted or
changed to enforce the provisions of the convention; in some case, special facilities may
have to be provided; an inspectorate may have to be appointed or trained to carry out
functions under the convention; and adequate notice must be given to ship owners,
Each convention includes appropriate provisions stipulating conditions, which have to be
met before it enters into force. These conditions vary but generally speaking, the more
important and more complex the document, and the more stringent are the conditions for
its entry into force. For example, SOLAS 74, provided that entry into force requires
acceptance by 25 States whose merchant fleets comprise not less than 50 per cent of the
world's gross tonnage; for the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of
Ships, 1969, the requirement was acceptance by 25 States whose combined merchant
fleets represent not less than 65 per cent of world tonnage.

shipbuilders and other interested parties so they make take account of the provisions of
the convention in their future acts and plans.
Signature, ratification, acceptance, approval and accession
The terms signature, ratification, acceptance, approval and accession refer to some of the
methods by which a State can express its consent to be bound by a treaty.
Consent may be expressed by signature where:
• The treaty provides that signature shall have that effect;
• It is otherwise established that the negotiating States were agreed that signature
should have that effect;
A State may also sign a treaty "subject to ratification, acceptance or approval". In such a
situation, signature does not signify the consent of a State to be bound by the treaty,
although it does oblige the State to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and
purpose of the treaty until such time as it has made its intention clear not to become a
party to the treaty.
Signature subject to ratification, acceptance or approval
Most multilateral treaties contain a clause providing that a State may express its consent
to be bound by the instrument by signature subject to ratification.
This option of expressing consent to be bound by signature subject to ratification,
acceptance or approval originated in an era when international communications were not
instantaneous, as they are today.
It was a means of ensuring that a State representative did not exceed their powers or
instructions with regard to the making of a particular treaty. The words acceptance and
approval basically mean the same as ratification, but they are less formal and
non-technical and might be preferred by some States that might have constitutional
difficulties with the term ratification.
What do Member States have to do to actually bring a Convention into

• The intention of the State to give that effect to signature appears from the full
powers of its representatives or was expressed during the negotiations
In such a situation, signature alone will not suffice to bind the State, but must be followed
up by the deposit of an instrument of ratification with the depositary of the treaty.

Many States nowadays choose this option as it provides them with an opportunity to
ensure that any necessary legislation is enacted and other constitutional requirements
fulfilled before entering into treaty commitments.
Most multinational treaties are open for signature for a specified period of time.
Accession is the method used by a State to become a party to a treaty, which it did not
sign whilst the treaty was open for signature.
Technically, accession requires the State in question to deposit an instrument of accession
with the depositary.
How is a Convention Amended?
Technology and techniques in the shipping industry change very rapidly these days. As a
result, not only are new conventions required but also existing ones need to be kept up to
date. For example, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS),
1960 was amended six times after it entered into force in 1965 - in 1966, 1967, 1968,
1969, 1971 and 1973. In 1974 a completely new convention was adopted incorporating
all these amendments (and other minor changes) and has itself been modified on
numerous occasions.
Explicit Acceptance (the case earlier)
The normal procedure for adopting amendments to an international treaty is by means of
"explicit acceptance." This meant that the amendments came into force only after a
percentage of Contracting States, usually two thirds, had accepted them and if the parent
Convention has been accepted by a large number of countries it could mean 80 or more
of them having to ratify the amendment before it becomes international law. Experience
had shown that this could take decades to achieve - by which time the amendment itself is
likely to be out of date.
This percentage requirement in practice led to long delays in bringing amendments into
force. To remedy the situation a new amendment procedure was devised in IMO. The
new procedure is called the “tacit acceptance” of amendments.
Tacit acceptance of amendments
Instead of requiring that an amendment shall enter into force after being accepted by, for
example, two thirds of the Parties, the “tacit acceptance” procedure provides that an
amendment shall enter into force at a particular time unless before that date, objections to
the amendment are received from a specified number of Parties.
For instance, in the case of the 1974 SOLAS Convention, an amendment to most of the
Annexes (which constitute the technical parts of the Convention) is `deemed to have been

accepted at the end of two years from the date on which it is communicated to
Contracting Governments...' unless the amendment is objected to by more than one third
of Contracting Governments, or Contracting Governments owning not less than 50 per
cent of the world's gross merchant tonnage. This period may be varied by the Maritime
Safety Committee with a minimum limit of one year.
As was expected the "tacit acceptance" procedure has greatly speeded up the amendment
The tacit acceptance procedure means that amendments - which are nearly always
adopted unanimously - enter into force on a set date unless they are specifically rejected
by a specified number of countries.
Apart from the speed, tacit acceptance also means that everyone involved knows exactly
when an amendment will enter into force. Under the old system you never knew until the
final acceptance was actually deposited with IMO.
How does IMO implement legislation?
The Organization itself has no powers to enforce conventions. Therefore, IMO does not
implement any Conventions. The enforcement of IMO conventions depends upon the
Governments of Member Parties.
Contracting Governments enforce the provisions of IMO conventions as far as their own
ships are concerned and also set the penalties for infringements, where these are
They may also have certain limited powers in respect of the ships of other Governments.
In some conventions, certificates are required to be carried on board ship to show that
they have been inspected and have met the required standards. These certificates are
normally accepted as proof by authorities from other States that the vessel concerned has
reached the required standard, but in some cases further action can be taken.
An inspection of this nature would, of course, take place within the jurisdiction of the
Port State. But when an offence occurs in international waters the responsibility for
imposing a penalty rests with the flag State.
Should an offence occur within the jurisdiction of another State, however, that State can
either cause proceedings to be taken in accordance with its own law or give details of the
offence to the flag State so that the latter can take appropriate action.

Under the terms of the 1969 Convention Relating to Intervention on the High Seas,
Contracting States are empowered to act against ships of other countries that have been

involved in an accident or have been damaged on the high seas if there is a grave risk of
oil pollution occurring as a result that would reach their waters.
The way in which these powers may be used are very carefully defined, and in most
conventions the flag State is primarily responsible for enforcing conventions as far as its
own ships and their personnel are concerned.
However, one of the recent important developments in the functioning of IMO has been
that IMO has been given (by the approval of its assembly, which in turn comprises of all
the member States) the authority to vet the training, examination and certification
procedures of Contracting Parties to the International Convention on Standards of
Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978. This was one of
the most important changes made in the 1995 amendments to the Convention, which
entered into force on 1 February 1997. Governments will have to provide relevant
information to IMO Maritime Safety Committee, which will judge whether or not the
country concerned meets the requirements of the Convention.
How much does IMO cost?
It is one of the smallest agencies in the United Nations system, both in terms of staff
numbers (just 300 permanent staff) and budget. The total budget for the 2005-2006
biennium is £49,730,330. This compares with £46,194,900 for 2004-2005 and with
£42,898,200 for 2002-2003.
This is less than half what it would cost to buy a medium sized oil tanker and represents
only a fraction of the cost of the damage caused by an oil spill, for example (the Exxon
Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989 has so far cost more than US$3.6 billion). If IMO is
responsible for preventing just one oil tanker accident a year then it more than covers its

The IMO budget is unique for another reason. Costs are shared between the 166 Member
States primarily in proportion to the size of each one's fleet of merchant ships. The
biggest fleets in the world are currently operated by Panama and Liberia and so they pay
the biggest share of IMO budget.
The top ten contributors for 2005 were assessed as follows (the figures show the amount
payable and as a percentage of the total budget):
Country Contribution ($) Contribution (%)

Panama 4,141,951 18.47

Liberia 1,730,648 7.72

Bahamas 1,128,559 5.03

Country Contribution ($) Contribution (%)

United Kingdom 1,040,068 4.64

Greece 973,151 4.34

Singapore 900,531 4.02

Japan 842,596 3.76

Marshall Islands 802,983 3.58

United States 771,737 3.44

China 749,093 3.34
As a comparison from the previous year, the top ten contributors for 2004 were assessed
as follows (the figures show the amount payable and as a percentage of the total budget):
Country Contribution ($) Contribution (%)
Panama 3,827,870 17.0
Liberia 1,533,253 6.8
Bahamas 1,055,036 4.7
Greece 938,029 4.2
U. K. 843,330 3.7
Japan 805,998 3.6
Malta 787,405 3.5
U. S. A 704,551 3.1
Cyprus 695,084 3.1
Norway 681,133 3.0
IMO used to be called "the rich man's club". Has it changed at all?
When IMO began operations in 1959 shipping was still dominated by a relatively small
number of countries, nearly all of them located in the northern hemisphere – the ones we

refer to today as the developed countries. IMO tended to reflect this. But as the balance of
power in the shipping industry began to change so did IMO.
The Maritime Safety Committee, the senior technical body, was thrown open to all
Member States (previously it had consisted only of 16 Members elected by the governing
Assembly). The Council, which acts as governing body in between the two-yearly
meetings of the Assembly, was increased in size from 18 to 24 Member States, and then
to 32 and, in 2002 was increased still further to 40. This was done partly to take into
account the growing membership of IMO, but also to ensure that the views of developing
countries were properly represented. The biggest increase in Council membership has
been to the section, which takes geographical representation into account.
So, it is no longer a rich man’s club.
Shouldn't IMO have some sort of police function?
It is sometimes said that IMO should have some sort of authority to enforce its
regulations. This seems to imply the creation of a team of inspectors and a fleet of patrol
boats crewed by officials with the right to board any ships they suspected of contravening
IMO regulations. In practice, the creation of such a force would be financially enormous -
it would mean recruiting hundreds, probably thousands of people - and politically
impossible: most Governments would never agree to allow ships flying their flag to be
boarded in international waters and any attempt to introduce a system of penalties and
punishments would be even more unacceptable.
Furthermore, the "IMO police force” would duplicate the work being done already by
individual Governments and there is no guarantee that it would make a significant impact
on safety and pollution, certainly in relation to the cost involved.
IMO has however, been given the authority to vet the training, examination and
certification procedures of Contracting Parties to the International Convention on
Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978.
This was one of the most important changes made in the 1995 amendments to the
Convention, which entered into force on 1 February 1997. Governments have to provide
relevant information to IMO Maritime Safety Committee which judges whether or not the
country concerned meets the requirements of the Convention.
IMO is now developing the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme. The proposed
IMO Member State Audit Scheme will be designed to help promote maritime safety and
environmental protection by assessing how effectively Member States implement and
enforce relevant IMO Convention standards, and by providing them with feedback and
advice on their current performance.

Have shipping safety and the marine environment improved because of
Although we can say yes to this question with some confidence it is difficult to compare
shipping today with that of thirty or forty years ago because of the great changes that
have taken place in the industry during that period. In the 1950s shipping was dominated
by a handful of traditional maritime countries. They built the ships, operated them,
manned them - and provided the goods that were carried on them. Today most ships fly
the flags of developing countries; their crews come from all over the world. Doubts have
been expressed about the ability of some of these countries to maintain and operate ships
to the high standards laid down in IMO regulations. Ships themselves have changed
dramatically in size, speed and design and in addition economic factors mean that the
average of ships today is much higher than it used to be. Despite these changes, safety
standards around the world are generally good and have improved considerably since the
late 1970s, when IMO treaties began to enter into force and the number of acceptances
rose to record levels.
Statistics do not always tell the whole story. In the early 1980s, for example, a study
carried out in the United Kingdom showed that the number of collisions between ships
was much the same as it had been ten years before, indicating that the introduction of
traffic separation schemes and other measures had not had much impact. But closer
examination showed that the number of collisions had fallen dramatically in areas where
IMO approved schemes had been adopted - but had risen by the same number in areas
where nothing had been done.
As far as pollution is concerned, the indications are that there has been a remarkable
improvement in the amount of pollution caused by ships during the last two decades. This
is partly due to the tightening of controls through IMO conventions such as the MARPOL
73/78 and partly to the introduction of better methods of controlling the disposal of
wastes. According to a study carried out by the United States National Academy of
Sciences, oil pollution from ships fell by about 60% during the 1980s, coinciding with the
entry into force of MARPOL 73/78.
Whilst statistics have to be used with care, it should be noted that for example, the
incidence of large spills is relatively low and it is generally acknowledged that oil spills
from shipping have decreased significantly over the last 30 years. The decline in the
number of oil spills and in the amount spilled, is illustrated in the following graphic
(Source ITOPF -2002 Statistics):

Numbers of spills over 70 tonnes

Future challenges
Marine safety, security and environment protection will remain a prominent and constant
focus of IMO in coming years. As the years progress, vessel technology and equipment
will con me even more sophisticated, straining intellectual and
tech ermore, the susceptibility of marine transportation to
terrorism has forever altered the way the world will transport people and cargo. Thus, the
cency and advance the need
to maintain a high level of vigilance and awareness until they become second nature
hat IMO has been successful in making its presence
lt in terms of maritime safety and marine pollution prevention. What is of important
tinue to advance and beco
nical imaginations. Furth
future presents further challenges to marine transportation in terms of new technologies,
the human element, and the task of making world shipping secure from terrorist activities.
Although a new maritime security regime is now in force, the IMO cautions everyone
involved with maritime transport sector on the risk of compla
throughout the shipping and port community.

Concurrently, the IMO will continue to improve the safety and security of international
shipping and the protection of the marine environment by seeking resolution to new and
outstanding issues, e.g., the existence of sub-standard vessels, while implementing and
enforcing adopted conventions and adjusting the current regulatory framework to
maintain the timeliness and relevance.
Concluding remarks
One can safely draw the conclusion t
nature is that IMO is all the more concerned about its own functions at the international
arena and is continuously evolving with the changing times.

Other International Institutions and their Association with Shipping

The development of international organisations in the world of shipping has been, in the
ain, in response to the evident need arising from international nature of business rather
l appeal of the notion of world or global
al intercourse, in the sense of the development of
nd public – has been a constant feature of
echanics of maritime transportation and
ommerce, have produced a
r international
ief outlook of various international
odies, other than the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)
, that have a bearing on
tional maritime transportation and maritime affairs in general. The main issues
overning these international bodies are of course safety of life, property and protection
nal Chamber of Shipping (ICS)
. The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO)
ing of seafarers from different cultures and with different
he world fleet of merchant ships comprises approximately 80,000 ships of 100 gross
sian region. There is a clear

than from the philosophical or ideologica
governance. The growth of internation
relations between actors – both private a
maturing societies; advancement in the m
communications, combined with the desire for trade and c
degree of interaction which ultimately called for international regulation, o
co-operation by institutional means.

What will be presented in this paper will be a br
the interna
of the marine environment. The international institutions discussed here will be:

2. International Labour Organisation (ILO)
3. World Health Organisation (WHO)
4. International Shipping Federation (ISF)
5. Internatio
7. Society of International Gas Tankers and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO
8. Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF)

2. International Labour Organisation (ILO)


More than three-quarters of world trade makes use of maritime or river transport. The
maritime sector is therefore international and dynamic. A further internationalisation of
the shipping industry in recent years has been manifested through changes in the
ownership and the management of ships, establishment of new registers, technological
developments, and crews consist

tons or more (46, 222 are ocean going vessels)
. The largest fleets (by tonnage) are
registered in Panama, Liberia, Greece, Cyprus, Bahamas, Norway, Japan, Malta, China,
the Russian Federation, Singapore and the United States.

There are over 1.2 million seafarers serving aboard ships of over 100 gross tons or
waiting to do so. Approximately two-thirds are from the A

The functions of IMO have been dealt with in the preceding pages, as well as in a separate lecture.
Lloyd’s Register, Fairplay, January 2005

trend in employment towards the hiring of seafarers from developing countries. Major
labour supplying countries include the Philippines, China and the Republic of Korea. An
increasing number of seafarers are also recruited from the Russian Federation and
Poland. A high percentage of the total number of seafarers is working on board ships not
registered in their own country.

ILO Activities

Because of the unique character of seafaring, most maritime countries have special laws
and regulations covering this occupation. Consequently, the ILO, since its founding, has
had special "machinery" for seafarers. The machinery includes the Joint Maritime
Commission, which advises the Governing Body on maritime issues, and special
Maritime Sessions of the International Labour Conference (ILC), which focus solely on
afarers led ILO to adopt an
xtensive range of Conventions and Recommendations applying specifically to seafarers.
nd periodically
ereafter; conditions for shipboard employment; articles of agreement; repatriation;
f seafarers throughout the
orld. This international seafarers' "code" directly or indirectly influences both the terms
the preparation, and adoption of maritime labour standards.

The special nature of the conditions of work and life of se
These instruments cover nearly all aspects of the working and living conditions at sea
such as, for example, the minimum age for admission to employment; hours of work and
rest periods; medical examination prior to employment aboard ship a
social security benefits; food, catering and accommodation; qualification requirement;
vocational training and welfare facilities; safety and health requirements. These standards
have influenced national legislation as well as the terms of collective agreements and
employment contracts laying down the working conditions o
of collective agreements and national maritime labour legislation.

An important maritime labour instrument is the Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards)
Convention, 1976 (No. 147), which sets out the minimum internationally acceptable
standards for living and working conditions on board ships.

The ma otion of the maritime
codes of practice, guidelines and reports, which address seafarers' issues.

The IL aritime
eld, such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London and the World
DP) and with regional UN offices.
tance to member States on ILO maritime standards and
e preparation of related national laws and regulations is given priority. Both the labour
in focus of ILO maritime programme concerns the prom
ur standards. The ILO work concerning seafarers has also resulted in the adoption of
O cooperates with other United Nations agencies with an interest in the m
Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. There is close contact with the United Nations
Development Program (UN

Providing information and assis
and shipping (or transport) ministries of the countries concerned are involved in the
implementation of the ILO maritime labour standards. The following areas will continue
to keep the ILO busy with regard to shipping activities:

Review of relevant ILO maritime instruments
Updating of the ILO minimum basic wage of able seamen
The impact on seafarers’ living and working conditions of changes in the structure
of the shipping industry, and
g group on liability and compensation
regarding claims ent of seafarers
Joint IMO/ILO ad hoc expert workin
for death, personal injury and abandonm

ILO Maritime programmes (International Programme for the Promotion of Decent Work
in the Maritime Industry)

Objective of the programme

The objective of this Programme is to enhance social and economic conditions in the
ractical implementation of the Programme
oped by the office over the last eighty years.
onditions in line with
rk, adopted in 1998, needs to be
, as
ppropriate, seminars in this respect. The wider and better implementation of ILO
maritime industry as a whole and particularly for seafarers as part of ILO objective aimed
at "promoting opportunities for men and women to obtain decent and productive work, in
conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity". This objective is articulated
in the concept of Decent Work, which has received unanimous support of ILO tripartite


To achieve the fundamental objective of ILO for the maritime industry, the Programme
intends to utilise, first and foremost, the international labour maritime standards and other
tools devel

A priority activity for the programme on Decent Work in the Maritime Industry is the
promotion, ratification and effective implementation of the maritime Conventions.

Moreover, in some countries which have already ratified important ILO Maritime
instruments, there still is a need to bring the working and living c
the standards through an update/revision, as appropriate, of national laws and regulations,
as well as the streamlining of an often unclear line of responsibility between different
departments involved in seafarers social welfare and to make progress in the effective
implementation of the standards.

In addition, the level of ratification and implementation of core ILO standards, which
apply to seafarers in the same way as to other workers, especially in the light of the
Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Wo

The Programme will develop an advocacy component to those in charge of the
application and implementation of standards. The Programme will organise
standards will also contribute towards improving social protection for seafarers, safety at
sea and consequently lead to better protection of the environment.

Past experience has shown that, while governmental officials dealing with the shipping
dustry may be quite conversant with standards relating to safety and pollution
issues. In short,
e training of qualified inspector ell as
sistance programme and avoid undue duplication.
echnology, in particular the introduction of the standard -
ze, inter-modal shipping containers. Cargo handling, once a labour-intensive activity,
asingly capital - intensive as a result of these changes.
port and to increase the use of expensive
as usually resulted in
rther cuts in the workforce.
O Activities
he ILO has also adopted a number of standards, which specifically concern the social
prevention from ships that are under the purview of the IMO, a similar level does not, in
many cases, exist as concerns the social/labour aspects. This is particularly the case for
the inspection of both national and foreign registered ships where the inspectors are better
trained on inspecting the technical aspects of the ship compared with ILO
th s to inspect and address labour standards, as w
safety requirements, has to be promoted and enhanced.

The Programme will last for an initial period of 5 years and its scope and activities will
be kept under continuous review. Depending upon impact, the Programme could also be
extended if deemed necessary in the light of developments in the shipping industry.

The Programme will also closely liase with IMO to ensure the necessary coordination
with its ongoing technical as


Ports have undergone fundamental changes in the past decades due to changes in
shipping and cargo-handling t
has become incre

The result has been a substantial reduction in the number of persons required to move
cargo. Though sea borne trade has risen dramatically over the same period, the
considerable efficiencies resulting from the new technologies and techniques has meant a
dramatic decrease in the number of port workers needed in many ports. In many cases
this has resulted in redundancies and various schemes to preserve employment. It has also
led to round-the-clock port worker, with work divided into shift work, and other changes
designed to reduce the time ships spend in
cargo-handling equipment.

Structural adjustment has caused the second - and more recent - wave of change in the
port sector. The general aim has been to improve the efficiency of port operations and to
bring their operations in line with private sector industries. This h


and labour conditions of port workers. Most of these are aimed at improving the safety of
dock work. Among the most important of these are the Dock Work Convention, 1973
(No. 137), the Occupational Safety and Health (Dock Work) Convention, 1979 (No.
152). The first instrument concerns protection for dockworkers against changes in their
employment resulting from technological changes and structural changes. The second
instrument concerns health and safety issues.

The ILO has provided technical advisory services and executed technical cooperation
projects covering areas such as recruitment and placement of port workers, occupational
safety and health, organization of work in ports, the assessment of training needs and
subsequent curricula development for training programmes, the training of instructors,
e establishment of port training centres and supervisory training. th

Port worker Development Programme (PDP)

Objective of the programme


he most recent activity has been the preparation of the Port worker Development
bjective of the programme is to enable governments and port
uthorities of developing countries to establish effective and systematic port worker
rs container terminal port workers designed in such a way
at it will enable the preparation of an open-ended series of self-contained but
he success of the PDP can be judged from the increasing number of countries and ports,
which have purchased the PDP training materials and implemented training programmes.
The growing widespread use of the PDP is a testament to its quality and value. PDP has
bee n more than 50 countries and has or is in the process of being
tran t
Practical Implementation
Programme (PDP). The o
training schemes, designed to improve cargo-handling performance, working conditions
and practices, safety and the status and welfare of port workers. The means of
accomplishing this objective is the preparation of centrally produced training material. So
far the material prepared cove
interrelated units of instruction by recognized experts in the field of port training working
together with a team of subject-matter experts.

n implemented i
sla ed into at least 9 languages!


The PDP consists of centrally prepared training materials for personnel in container
rminals and other container handling facilities, for presentation by a team of specially
sational framework, extending from national

Cargo handling performance,
Safety, and
tus and welfare of port workers.
trained instructors working within an organi
to the port or terminal level.

The idea is to enable governments and port management to establish effective and
systematic port worker training schemes using the PDP materials that are designed to

Working conditions and practices,
The sta

Maritime and Port Security

In the wake of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 in the United States, decisions
have been taken both in the framework of the IMO and in the ILO to enhance maritime
security. The ILO actions in this regard relate to improved security of seafarers’
entification and complementary port security measures. id

Maritime security: Seafarers’ Identity Documents


One of the issues considered crucial for improving maritime security is ensuring that
seafarers have documents enabling their “positive verifiable identification”. Many
countries will be requiring such identification before they are prepared to grant special
facilities enabling seafarers to carry out the international professional moves necessary
for their work and for their well-being. The ILO Governing Body accordingly decided to
omplement action being taken in the framework of the IMO by placing an urgent item
of the 91st Session (June 2003) of the International Labour Conference
oncerning improved security of seafarers’ identification with a view to the revision of
on the agenda
the Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention, 1958 (No.108).

The Convention provides for a new seafarers’ identity document facilitating the
movement of seafarers, but not replacing a passport. It introduces a viable system for
meeting contemporary security concerns while maintaining the necessary facilitation of
shipping and recognition of the needs of seafarers. The Convention requires each
tifying country to put in place a comprehensive security regime. This would cover not ra
only the production by the national authorities of a modern identity document embodying
security features, but also the maintenance of national databases for the document. In
addition, the processes and procedures for the production, personalization and issuance of
the document, which would include quality control of the entire national system, would
be subject to international oversight.

Port Security

Millions of people are working in ports around the world at any one time. The safety and
security of persons working in ports and terminals, including service providers to ports
nd ships are of primary importance. Access to ports is not limited only to those who
and por

In m r are in the
icinity of port areas and many handling facilities are close to human habitation. The
lity security plans which are limited
rk in port areas but also to a whole range of persons and other non-port workers who
goods and services to ports or have access to ports for other reasons linked to ship
t operations.
any countries around the world, major communities have sprung up o
IMO is in the process of developing mandatory requirements for port facility security to
address ship/port interface, i.e., the immediate shore security threat towards the ship and
vice-versa. The IMO has recognized that port faci

only to the ship/port interface would not be effective without the existence of an
based on a comprehensive port security
ssessment. One of the issues id n is that of port personnel
. As these issues impact on port worker regulations
overarching comprehensive port security plan
a entified for consideratio
identification , the IMO has requested
e ILO to establish a Joint Working Group to:
se working within these areas or having access to such areas; and
b) Consider the need for any mandatory provisions relating to the above
nisation (WHO)
d not merely the absence of disease or

a) Consider the form and content of further guidance on the wider issue of port
security including the relationship between ship and port facility security and
safety considerations relevant to port areas, including verifiable identification of

The ILO will be examining how to take these issues further in the future, in particular in
the framework of the planned revision of its Code of Practice on Safety and Health in
Dock Work to incorporate provisions on Security.

3. World Health Orga

About WHO

The World Health Organization is the United Nations specialized agency for health. It
was established on 7 April 1948. WHO's objective is the attainment by all peoples of the
highest possible level of health. Health is defined in WHO's Constitution as a state of
complete physical, mental and social well-being an
HO is governed by 192 Member States through the World Health Assembly. The
view has identified
ver 100 disease outbreaks associated with ships since 1970. This is probably an
o outbreaks included contaminated bunkered water,

Health Assembly is composed of representatives from WHO's Member States. The main
tasks of the World Health Assembly are to approve the WHO programme and the budget
for the following biennium and to decide major policy questions.

Ship sanitation and health

A recently released World Health Organization (WHO) literature re
underestimate because many outbreaks are not reported and some may go undetected.
Such outbreaks are of concern because of their potentially serious health consequences
and high costs to the industry. The main diseases associated with ships are
gastrointestinal disease and Legionnaires' d

Gastrointestinal diseas

A wide range of pathogens affected passengers and crew during ship-associated
gastrointestinal disease outbreaks. Most of the detected gastrointestinal disease outbreaks
have been associated with cruise ships and were linked to food or water consumed
onboard ship. Factors contributing t

inadequate disinfection of potable water, potable water contaminated by sewage on ship,
ead in food or water or from person to
erson. This is a very infectio in one outbreak on a cruise ship in 1998, over
roplet nuclei (the particles
ft after the water has evaporated).
he WHO review showed that over 50 incidents of Legionnaires' disease, involving over
he problem is not restricted to passenger ships. Surveys carried out on merchant ships
ternational Health Regulations
HO) in 1969, provide a regulatory framework to support public health security by
ad of infectious diseases through permanent public health
easures for travellers, cargo, and points of entry. These regulations replaced the 1951
he purpose of the IHR is to provide the maximum protection against the international
aste from ships, appropriate facilities for
xamining and isolating travellers and maintaining vector free zones and vector
poor design and construction of potable water storage tanks, deficiencies in food
handling, preparation and cooking and use of seawater in the galley.

Symptoms often start with sudden onset of vomiting and/or diarrhoea. There may be
fever and abdominal cramps. The virus can spr
p us virus, and,
80% of the 841 passengers were affected.

Legionnaires' disease

Legionnaires' disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia, first recognized in 1976.
Inhaling legionella bacteria deep into the lungs normally contracts the disease. Legionella
species can be found in tiny droplets of water (aerosols) or in d

200 cases, were associated with ships in the past three decades. For example, an outbreak
of Legionnaires' disease occurred on a single cruise ship in 1994. 50 passengers were
affected on nine different cruises and one passenger died. The disease was linked to a
whirlpool spa on the ship.

have also shown drinking water and air conditioning systems to be contaminated with
Legionella pneumophila3.

Control measures, such as proper disinfection, filtration and storage of source water,
avoidance of dead ends in pipes and regular cleaning and disinfection of spas are
therefore required to reduce the risk of legionellosis on ships.


The International Health Regulations (IHR), adopted by the World Health Orga
preventing the international spre
International Sanitary Regulations.

spread of diseases with minimum interference with world traffic.

The current requirements of the IHR relate to provision of potable water at ports, public
health inspections of ships, proper disposal of w

The IHR are currently being updated. It is proposed that the revised IHR cover both
urgent and routine public health services at ports, airports and ground crossings.

WHO Guide to Ship Sanitation

The WHO Guide to Ship Sanitation is the official global reference on health requirements
for ship construction and operation and is directly referenced in Article 14 of the IHR.
of people on board and to prevent the spread of infection from one country to another.
The e


purpose is to standardize the sanitary measures taken in ships, to safeguard the health
pr sent edition of the Guide is based on the results of a survey of 103 countries and
nts a synthesis of best national practice.
ision of the Guide to Ship Sanitation

he Guide was first published in 1967 and was reprinted with minor amendments in
have changed dramatically since the
960s and the greatly increased level of transport by ships poses new hazards (e.g.
ns on the revisions to the guide include:
distribution on ship, swimming and spa
pools, waste disposal, food safety and vermin and vector control; and
F is the only broad based international employers' organisation dedicated to maritime
1987. The construction, design and size of ships
Legionnaires' disease) that were not foreseen when the 1967 Guide was published.
Therefore, WHO is now updating the Guide in close collaboration with the International
Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The

Apply to all ships including passenger ships, general cargo vessels, fishing
vessels, naval vessels and tankers;
Cover preventive environmental health management including water supply at
port, water production, treatment and
Contain concluding chapters on disease surveillance, outbreak investigation, and
routine inspection and audit.

4 . International Shipping Federation (ISF)

manpower issues, providing advice and guidance to members either directly or via its
extensive range of global contacts by representing them in all relevant foray where issues
are regulated.

In the plethora of international organisations, ISF represents the employers' voice on
ommittee (IMEC). While each organisation is quite independent, these links
industrial relations issues, proactively explaining and justifying employers' activities to
the media. To others, ISF is an authority on the STCW Convention and assists with
advice on its detailed technical requirements.

The ISF Secretariat also supports other international organisations, such as its sister
organisation the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and the International Maritime
Employers' C

ensure an exchange of information and co-ordination to prevent overlap and duplication
nds, through ILO, meetings
f the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control Committee, which
in the Paris MOU region.
ers' Federation (ITF).
h ISF member
on maritime human resources issues.
of effort.

Externally, ISF has consultative status with the ILO, where it co-ordinates the ship owner
position at all maritime meetings, and with the IMO. ISF atte
develops policy on port state control inspections with

ISF is also an active member of the International Committee on Seafarers' Welfare
(ICSW) and regular contacts are maintained with representatives of maritime unions,
including the International Transport Work

The Council is the principal policy-making body meeting twice a year under the
Chairmanship of the President. It comprises a representative of eac

ISF, with national ship owner association members
from Eastern and Western Europe,
the Indian Sub-Continent, the Asia/Pacific Region, the Middle East and North, Central
and South America, provides a unique forum for employers to co-ordinate effectively and
influence events

5. International Chamber of Shipping (ICS)

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is the international trade association for
merchant ship operators. ICS represents the collective views of the international industry
from different nations, sectors and trades.

ICS membership comprises national ship owners' associations
representing over half of
the world's merchant fleet. A major focus of ICS activity is at the IMO.
ing. Its close ties with IMO stretch back to this body's inception in 1958.
Other partners include the World Customs Organisation (WCO), the International
ions Union (ITU), the United Nations Conference on Trade and
evelopment (UNCTAD) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). ICS also

ICS is heavily involved in a wide variety of areas including technical, legal and
operational matters affecting merchant ships. ICS is unique in that it represents the global
interests of all the different trades in the industry: bulk carrier operators, tanker operators,
passenger ship operators and container liner trades, including ship owners and third party
ship managers.

ICS has consultative status with a number of intergovernmental bodies, which have an
impact on shipp

India is a member of ISF through the Indian National Ship Owner’s Association (INSA) with its
headquarters at Mumbai.
India is a member of ICS through the Indian National Ship Owner’s Association (INSA) with its
headquarters at Mumbai.

enjoys close relationships with industry organisations representing different maritime
interests such as shipping, ports, Pilotage, oil industry, and insurance and classification
cieties responsible for the surveying of ships.

ICS is le of maritime regulation being formulated at an
ship wh
The alternative to an international system of shipping legislation would be a chaotic web
econom the maintenance of a sound,
and eff

The aim nd operators in all matters of

Encourages high standards of operation and the provision of high quality and
ipping services
Strives for a regulatory environment, which supports safe shipping operations,
e and respond whenever appropriate to policies and
actions which conflict with the above
ow ICS works?
hipping companies, which are members of the national ship owners'
sociations that belong to ICS. So far as possible, ICS represents the views of the entire
committed to the princip
rnational level. Shipping is by nature international. The regulations that apply to a
en it sails, say, from Buenos Aires must apply equally when it arrives in Brisbane.
local rules and regulations that would result in commercial distortions and mass
ic deficiencies. The objective of ICS is
l-considered global regulatory environment in which well-run ships can operate safely
e of ICS
of ICS is to promote the interests of ship owners a
ping policy and ship operations. To that end ICS:
efficient sh
protection of the environment and adherence to internationally, adopted standards
and procedures
Promotes properly considered international regulation of shipping and oppose
unilateral and regional action by governments
Presses for recognition of the commercial realities of shipping and the need for
quality to be rewarded by a proper commercial return
Remains committed to the promotion of industry guidance on best operating
Cooperates with other organisations, both intergovernmental and
non-governmental, in the pursuit of these objectives
Anticipates whenever possibl

The national associations that belong to ICS provide national representatives through a
network of committees, which are responsible for developing the international policy of
the industry, including positions to be adopted on international maritime regulatory
questions. The national representatives to ICS Committees include experts from
individual s
shipping industry at various forays, which develop international maritime conventions
and recommendations, especially the IMO. ICS is particularly influential because of the
support it receives from its member national ship owners associations', which r

the views agreed within ICS to their national governments, which in turn comprise the
membership of bodies such as IMO.

6. The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO)

From 16 to 18 February 1905, 112 distinguished gentlemen assembled in Copenhagen
nd formed what is today the world’s largest and most diverse private shipping
ar now as they were
t the start.
bers complete BIMCO international
overage. It is on behalf of these members that BIMCO carries out its tasks - ranging
m in ing
ssistance in recovering unpaid balances.
and quality and security. BIMCO focus is on promotion of high
ipping standards and support of existing measures to ensure quality shipping as well as,
ing 423 vessels of 12.6 million
ns deadweight and a further 26 broker-members.
tablish and promote the adoption and implementation of the
ery highest standards if it was first to win and then to maintain the confidence of the
gorically as a highly responsible
nd effective sector.

organisation. BIMCO has come a long way since then and the organisation’s agenda
today differs greatly from that of the past. However, its objective of uniting shipping
interests and pursuing the issues affecting its members remain as cle

Throughout it all, BIMCO has consistently managed to be both flexible and supportive of
its members’ interests, capable of proactive action and responding quickly to new
priorities in a fast-changing maritime environment in an often un-certain wor

Today, BIMCO membership spans 123 countries and includes more than 2,550
companies. Owner members alone control 65% of the world merchant fleet, while 1,500
brokers and agents and 100 club and associate mem
fro volvement in international debates on issues affecting the industry to provid

BIMCO is one of the leading interest groups and membership organisation offering
practical and tangible services to ship owners, managers, brokers, agents, operators,
associations and other entities associated with the shipping industry.

BIMCO aim is that of free trade, access to markets, trade facilitation and harmonisation,
promotion of safety
the standardisation of regulations and a worldwide implementation regime.

Membership in BIMCO is open to companies involved in all sectors of shipping. It's
Indian membership includes 18 owner-members operat

7. Society of International Gas Tankers and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO)

SIGTTO was born out of a recognition that an industry specializing in the transport of
liquefied gas needed to es
public at large. In acting as a beacon for quality and best practices, SIGTTO and its
members have done just that, and that the excellent safety and pollution record of the sea
borne gas transport industry to date defines it quite cate

By the late 1970s it was clear the international LNG business was set for a period of rapid
expansion. A number of involved companies were therefore concerned to agree essential
common standards for the industry, to aid its expansion, underpin public confidence and
avoid a proliferation of unilaterally defined regulations.

This group resolved to establish a body to draw together industry member companies in
an effort to establish commonly agreed standards and best practice criteria. Hence the
Society was formed and registered as a Bermuda Exempted Company (non-profit
making) with limited liability in October 1979.The Society was granted consultative
status at the IMO in 1982.

Formed o

riginally with thirteen Members the Society has steadily grown over twenty
ears to a membership of more than 100 companies; representing virtually the whole of
ost recently, as one would expect, SIGTTO played a significant part in the
the world’s LNG trades and over half its LPG capacity.

SIGTTO has been an active participant in the work of IMO since it was granted observer
status back in 1982. It has become universally recognized as the authoritative voice of the
gas shipping and terminal industries and has made a significant contribution over the
years to the development and implementation of a wide variety of IMO measures.

implementation of the new maritime security measures that entered into force worldwide
in July. The fact that the Society had been actively lobbying, supporting and working
with its members for many months prior to the introduction of the new measures should,
be recognized with appreciation.


The Society is the international body established for the exchange of technical
information and experience, between members of the industry, to enhance the safety and
to encourage safe and responsible operation of liquefied gas tankers and marine terminals
its mem for, or
an i r

other in intergovernmental agencies, including IMO, to
etter promote the safety and integrity of gas transportation and storage schemes.
enefits of being a member of SITTO
rational reliability of gas tankers and terminals. The organization has been organized
dling liquefied gas; to develop advice and guidance for best industry practice among
bers and promote criteria for best practice to all who have responsibilities
nte est in, the continuing safety of gas tankers and terminals.
this end the Society publishes studies and produces information papers and works of
rence for the guidance of industry members. It maintains working relationships with
dustry bodies, governmental and


Me tantial. Much of SIGTTO work is publicly
ava nefit by: -
mbership benefits of SIGTTO are subs
ilable but the most important part is not. Members' be

Access to information that is exclusive to Members, such as casualty and industry
Liaison Office who can give
advice and obtain advice, on behalf of a Member, from within the Society
mprehensive technical library maintained in the London
jects and studies to the General Purposes Committee
ms with other Members twice each year on topics
lar and mutual interest

In a bers own or operate:

13 of the 17 LNG Export Terminals
in reliability through:

First Class Standards & Codes
8. Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF)
IMF) is a voluntary association of
oil companies having an interest in the shipment and terminalling of crude oil and oil
s, promoting continuous improvement in
standards of design and operation.
OCIMF was formed at a meeting in London on 8th April 1970. It was initially the oil
Access to the Technical Advisers in the London
Access to the very co
Submitting proposals for pro
Participating in discussion foru
of particu
nutshell, SIGTTO mem

159 LNG carriers with a total capacity of 18 mill m

37 of the 47 operational LNG Import Terminals
79 bulk LPG terminals
70% of World LPG Capacity

SIGTTO achieves LNG supply cha
Initial High Standards
Industry Technical Cooperation
Learning From Experience
Ship Vetting
Written Procedures

The Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OC
products. The aim is to provide expert service and advice on the safe and environmentally
responsible operation of oil tankers and terminal
industry's response to increasing public awareness of marine pollution, particularly by oil,
after the "Torrey Canyon" incident.
Governments had reacted to this incident by debating the development of international
conventions and national legislation and the oil industry sought to play its part by making
its professional expertise available and its views known to governmental and
inter-governmental bodies.

OCIMF was incorporated in Bermuda in 1977 and a branch office was established in
London primarily to maintain contact with the IMO.
The current membership of OCIMF comprises 53 companies worldwide. From India, the
Indian Oil Corporation is a member of OCIMF.
to co-ordinate oil industry views at IMO meetings,
to review technical proposals circulated by IMO and to advise its members on legislative
OCIMF has produced in excess of 50 of these guidelines and many are now taken as the
their particular field. OCIMF provides the means for joint research
projects to be undertaken and co-ordinated on behalf of its members. Many of these
The primary objectives of OCIMF are the promotion of safety and prevention of
pollution from tankers and at oil terminals. OCIMF was granted consultative status in
1971 at the IMO. OCIMF is organised
activities as they develop. OCIMF presents its members' views before individual national
governmental authorities and maintains a close liaison with other industry bodies and
associations. An important contribution to the overall safety of the industry is the role
that OCIMF plays in producing technical and operational guidelines, either by itself or in
co-operation with other industry associations.
industry standard in
projects, for example, studies on tanker drift and towage, mooring hawser strength etc,
have resulted in technical guidelines being published for the wider benefit of the industry.
The strategy of OCIMF is to identify critical safety and environmental issues facing the
nkers and terminals; support the
global implementation and enforcement of such international conventions and
tal guidelines and recommendations.
oil tanker and terminal industry, and develop and publish recommended criteria that will
serve as benchmarks for the industry.
OCIMF also, in conjunction with the IMO and other regulatory bodies, both regional and
national, support the development of international conventions and regulations that
enhance the safe construction and operation of oil ta
regulations; and encourage industry-wide acceptance of established safety and
SIRE Introduction
Inspection Report Programme (SIR
ne of the most significant safety initiatives to be introduced by OCIMF is the Ship
E). This programme was originally launched in 1993
specifically address concerns about sub-standard shipping. The SIRE Programme is a
value to charterers, ship operators, terminal
ed with ship safety.
unique tanker risk assessment tool of
operators and government bodies concern

The SIRE system is a very large database of up-to-date information about tankers.
Essentially, SIRE has focused tanker industry awareness on the importance of meeting
satisfactory tanker quality and ship safety standards. Since its introduction, the SIRE
Programme has received industry-wide acceptance and participation by both OCIMF
Members, Programme recipients and by ship operators. The expansion of Barges and
- Barge Particulars Questionnaire (BPQ)
There is an electronic access to the SIRE system; both dial up and via the Internet.
Inspection reports are maintained on the index for a period of 12 months from the date of
eceipt and are maintained on the database for 2 years. SIRE access is available, at a
nominal cost, to OCIMF members, bulk oil terminal operators, port authorities, canal
authorities, oil, power, industrial or oil trader companies which charter tankers/barges as
a normal part of their business. It is also available, free of charge, to Governmental
bodies, which supervise safety and/or pollution prevention in respect of oil tankers/barges
(e.g. port state control authorities, MOU, etc).
The seafarers lead a very secluded life on board – busy with what they have to do! But in
today’s shipping world, it will increasingly become difficult to function in a proverbial
watertight compartment. The seafarer will constantly need to broaden his horizons and
have a feel of the maritime world that exists beyond the shipside. It was with this aspect
in mind that an introduction to the various in has been given. He
no doubt uses on board the various procedures and documents produced by the
aforementioned organisations, but if he has an idea about these organisations, he will be
able to apply the rules and follow industry standards in a more sensitive manner
small vessels into SIRE was inaugurated in late 2004.
The SIRE programme requires a uniform inspection protocol that is predicated by

- Vessel Inspection Questionnaire (VIQ)
- Barge Inspection Questionnaire (BIQ)

Uniform SIRE Inspection Report:

- Vessel Particulars Questionnaire (VPG)
These features have been established to make the program more uniform and user
friendly and to provide a level of transparency unique in the marine transportation
SIRE has established itself as a major source of technical and operational information to
prospective charterers and other programme users. Its increasing use corresponds with oil
industry efforts to better ascertain whether vessels are well managed and maintained.
ternational organisations

Chapter 10: Introduction to

International Law and Latest Changes
to SOLAS 74; MARPOL 73/78;

Chapter 10: Introduction to
International Law and Latest Changes
to SOLAS 74; MARPOL 73/78;
STCW 95 and Load-Line 66

CHAPTER 10 – Introduction to International Law and the
Latest amendments to MARPOL 73/78; SOLAS 74; STCW 78
and Load-line 66 Conventions

This lecture is about the latest amendments to MARPOL 73/78, SOLAS 74, STCW 78
and Load-line 66 conventions. However, prior to embarking on the designated exercise of
discussing the aforementioned amendments, it is felt that a few terms in the international
law terminology should be discussed with the students. The terminology includes such
terms as treaty, convention, protocol, resolution, amendments etc. The idea is to sensitise
the students with the terms that he has to use by way of understanding and applying the
IMO Conventions. The student should have a feel of the application of a convention.
How a convention is adopted, what is the principle of amendments, what is the procedure
for amendments, what is the difference between a Protocol to amend and an amendment?
By helping him answer such questions it is envisaged that he will become comfortable
with the use of such terms and the convention as well. The brief description of
international law, basically a few of the terms, is therefore delved into at the onset.


International law is the only universally recognized framework that applies to all people
everywhere. As an impartial and objective set of standards, international law is capable of
handling issues involving everyone at the international level as well as, resolving disputes
without prejudice in favour of one party.

This introductory note seeks to provide a basic - but not an exhaustive - overview of the
key terms employed in the international instruments binding at international law -
treaties, agreements, conventions, protocols, memoranda of understanding, resolutions,
adoption, ratification, amendments etc. The purpose is to facilitate a general
understanding of their scope and function.

Although these instruments differ from each other by title, they all have common features
and international law has applied basically the same rules to all of these instruments.
These rules are the result of long practice among the States, which have accepted them as
binding norms in their mutual relations. Therefore, they are regarded as international
customary law.

So, what is a treaty?

It is a formal agreement between two states signed by official representatives of each
state. A treaty may be "law-making" in that it is the declared intention of the signatories
to make or amend their internal laws to give effect to the treaty. The term "treaty" can be
used as a common generic term (that is, in general sense) or as a particular term, which
indicates an instrument with certain characteristics.

(a) Treaty as a generic term

The term "treaty" has regularly been used as a generic term embracing all instruments
binding at international law concluded between international entities, regardless of their
formal designation.

In order to speak of a "treaty" in the generic sense, an instrument has to meet various

First of all, it has to be a binding instrument, which means that the contracting
parties intended to create legal rights and duties.
Secondly, the instrument must be concluded by states or international
organizations with treaty-making power.
Thirdly, it has to be governed by international law.
Finally the engagement has to be in writing.

(b) Treaty as a specific term

There are no consistent rules when state practice employs the terms "treaty" as a title for
an international instrument. Usually the term "treaty" is reserved for matters of some
gravity that require more solemn agreements. Their signatures are usually sealed and they
normally require ratification. Typical examples of international instruments designated as
"treaties" are Peace Treaties, Border Treaties, Delimitation Treaties, Extradition Treaties
and Treaties of Friendship, Commerce and Co-operation. It is however important to note
that the use of the term "treaty" for international instruments has considerably declined in
the last decades in favour of other terms.

What is a Convention?

The term "convention" again can have both a generic and a specific meaning.

(a) Convention as a generic term

The generic use of the term "convention" embraces all international agreements, in the
same way as does the generic term "treaty". The generic term "convention" thus is
synonymous with the generic term "treaty".

(b) Convention as a specific term

Whereas in the last century the term "convention" was regularly employed for bilateral
agreements, it now is generally used for formal multilateral treaties with a broad number
of parties. Conventions are normally open for participation by the international
community as a whole, or by a large number of states. Usually the instruments
negotiated under the auspices of an international organization are entitled
conventions (e.g. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982). The same
holds true for instruments adopted by an organ of an international organization, such as

the IMO, (e.g. the SOLAS Convention, MARPOL 73/78 Convention, STCW

What is a Protocol?

The term "protocol" is used for agreements less formal, but nevertheless of the same
importance, than those entitled "treaty" or "convention". The term could be used to cover
the following kinds of instruments:

(a) A Protocol of Signature is an instrument subsidiary to a treaty, and drawn up by the
same parties. Such a Protocol deals with ancillary matters such as the interpretation of
particular clauses of the treaty, those formal clauses not inserted in the treaty, or the
regulation of technical matters. Ratification of the treaty will normally ipso facto involve
ratification of such a Protocol.

(b) An Optional Protocol to a Treaty is an instrument that establishes additional rights
and obligations to a treaty. It is usually adopted on the same day, but is of independent
character and subject to independent ratification. Such protocols enable certain parties of
the treaty to establish among themselves a framework of obligations, which reach further
than the general treaty and to which not all parties of the general treaty consent, creating
a "two-tier system". This function of the Protocol has been used very rarely.

(c) A Protocol based on a Framework Treaty is an instrument with specific substantive
obligations that implements the general objectives of a previous framework or umbrella
convention. Such protocols ensure a more simplified and accelerated treaty-making
process and have been used particularly in the field of international environmental law.
An example is the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

(d) A Protocol to amend is an instrument that contains provisions that amend one or
various former treaties, such as the Protocol of 1978 amending the 1973 “Treaty” on
MARPOL. It is this function of the Protocol in international law that we seafarers
should be comfortable in using as, this is what is, and will be, used pertaining to us
at IMO. For a change to be termed as a ‘Protocol’, and not an amendment, two
parameters have to be fulfilled:

1. The issue has to be of vital importance
2. The change should be such that the ‘existing face’ of the treaty / convention is

For example, the change of 1997 (Introduction of Annex VI) to MARPOL 73/78 is
called a Protocol and not an amendment. Why? Because, the issue of air pollution
was of vital importance and the introduction of a new annex changed the face of the
existing convention (earlier when we mentioned MARPOL, we meant five annexes,
now we mean six annexes). Hence the change of 1997 to MARPOL is NOT called an
amendment, but Protocol of 1997.

(e) A Protocol as a supplementary treaty is an instrument, which contains supplementary
provisions to a previous treaty, e.g. the various Protocols to the Barcelona Convention
dealing with the protection of marine environment in the Mediterranean Sea.

What is a Memorandum of Understanding?

A memorandum of understanding is an international instrument of a less formal kind. It
often sets out operational arrangements under a framework international agreement. It is
also used for the regulation of technical or detailed matters. It is typically in the form of a
single instrument and does not require ratification. They are entered into either by States
or International Organizations. The European Union, for instance, has concluded
memoranda of understanding with Member States in order to organize the functions of
Port State Control within the European territory.

What is a Resolution?

It is a determination of policy by the vote. Legislative bodies such as the IMO pass
resolutions, but they are often statements of policy, belief or appreciation, and not always
enactment of statutes or ordinances. Once a resolution is enacted by a diplomatic
conference at IMO, it becomes a convention and is legally binding.

What is meant by Adoption?

"Adoption" is the formal act by which the form and content of a proposed treaty text are
established (accepted). As a general rule, the adoption of the text of a treaty takes place
through the expression of the consent of the states participating in the treaty-making
process. Treaties that are negotiated within an international organization (like the IMO)
will usually be adopted by a resolution first of a representative organ of the organization
(like the MSC or the MEPC) whose membership more or less corresponds to the potential
participation in the treaty in question.

What is meant by the terms Acceptance and Approval?

The instruments of "acceptance" or "approval" of a treaty have the same legal effect as
ratification and consequently express the consent of a state to be bound by a treaty. In the
practice of certain states acceptance and approval have been used instead of ratification
when, at a national level, constitutional law does not require the treaty to be ratified by
the head of state.

What is Accession?

"Accession" is the act whereby a state accepts the offer or the opportunity to become a
party to a treaty already negotiated and signed by other states. It has the same legal effect
as ratification. Accession usually occurs after the treaty has entered into force. The
conditions under which accession may occur and the procedure involved depend on the
provisions of the treaty.

What is an Amendment?

The term "amendment" refers to the formal alteration of treaty provisions affecting all the
parties to the particular agreement. Such alterations must be effected with the same
formalities that attended the original formation of the treaty. Many multilateral treaties
lay down specific requirements to be satisfied for amendments to be adopted. In the
absence of such provisions, amendments require the consent of all the parties.

What is the difference between an amendment and a Protocol to amend?

An amendment basically changes a part of something that already exists within a
convention. But, a Protocol to amend will normally add something new and thereby
change the face of an existing convention.

What is Ratification?

Ratification defines the international act whereby a state indicates its consent to be bound
to a treaty if the parties intended to show their consent by such an act. In the case of
bilateral treaties, ratification is usually accomplished by exchanging the requisite
instruments, while in the case of multilateral treaties the usual procedure is for the
depositary (for example the Secretary-General of IMO) to collect the ratifications of all
states, keeping all parties informed of the situation. The institution of ratification grants
states the necessary time frame to seek the required approval for the treaty on the
domestic level and to enact the necessary legislation to give domestic effect to that treaty.
What is meant by the term Signature Subject to Ratification, Acceptance or

Where the signature is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval, the signature does
not establish the consent to be bound. However, it is a means of authentication and
expresses the willingness of the signatory state to continue the treaty-making process.
The signature qualifies the signatory state to proceed to ratification, acceptance or
approval. It also creates an obligation to refrain, in good faith, from acts that would defeat
the object and the purpose of the treaty.

We move to the amendments now…

With the brief explanation of a few of the terms of international law that you will use
while applying the various IMO conventions, we can now move to the heart of this
lecture that deals with the latest amendments to the aforementioned four IMO
conventions. Please note, that amendments to various conventions have been many, but
only amendments between 2000 and 2005 have been included here to cover the “latest”
amendments. Also, the 1997 Protocol to MARPOL (a new Annex VI) and 1995
amendments to STCW 78 are important, they have therefore been included even though
they took place before 2000. Also to note is that the number of amendments (between
2000 and 2005) for MARPOL 73/78 as well as, SOLAS 74 were large. They have
therefore been written in a tabular form for easy reference.

Latest Amendments to MARPOL 73/78
Why is it called MARPOL 73/78?
The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) was
adopted on 2 November 1973 at IMO and covered pollution by oil, chemicals, and
harmful substances in packaged form, sewage and garbage. Once a treaty / convention is
adopted it cannot be changed just like that, but has to go through a long procedure.
The changes in 1978 were large (virtually changing the face of what had been adopted in
1973, as well as the issue of marine pollution was of vital importance – hence it is known
as the Protocol of 1978) The Protocol of 1978 relating to the 1973 International
Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (1978 MARPOL Protocol) was
adopted at a Conference on Tanker Safety and Pollution Prevention in February 1978
held in response to a spate of tanker accidents in 1976-1977. (Measures relating to tanker
design and operation were also incorporated into a Protocol of 1978 relating to the 1974
Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974).

Since a lot of time had already been wasted between 1973 and 1978, and it would have
needed more time to be spent to agree to delete the ‘adopted’ text of what had been
agreed upon in 1973, it was decided not to waste any further time and to let the year 1973
remain attached to the treaty. Hence MARPOL is known as MARPOL 1973/78. Had it
been decided to spend time to formally delete what had been agreed upon in 1973,
MARPOL today would have been known as MARPOL 78.

The Convention includes regulations aimed at preventing and minimizing pollution from
ships - both accidental pollution and that from routine operations - and currently includes
six technical Annexes:

The MARPOL Convention is the main international convention covering prevention of
pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes. It is a
combination of two treaties adopted in 1973 and 1978 respectively and updated by
amendments through the years.

The MARPOL Convention is the main international convention covering prevention of
pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes. It is a
combination of two treaties adopted in 1973 and 1978 respectively and updated by
amendments through the years.

Annex I Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Oil
Annex II Regulations for the Control of Pollution by Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk
Annex III Prevention of Pollution by Harmful Substances Carried by Sea in Packaged Form
Annex IV Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships
Annex V Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships
Annex VI Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships (entry into force 19 May 2005)

States Parties must accept Annexes I and II, but the other Annexes are voluntary.

1978 Conference on Tanker Safety and Pollution Prevention – and the changes
brought about

The Conference, in February 1978, adopted a protocol to the 1973 MARPOL
Convention, absorbing the parent Convention and expanding on the requirements for
tankers to help make them less likely to pollute the marine environment.

The Protocol expanded the requirements for segregated ballast tanks to all new crude oil
tankers of 20,000 DWT and above and all new product carriers of 30,000 DWT and
above. The Protocol also required segregated ballast tanks to be protectively located, in
other words, placed in areas of the ship where they will minimise the possibility of and
amount of oil outflow from cargo tanks after a collision or grounding.

New tankers over 20,000 DWT were required to be fitted with crude oil washing system.
Crude oil washing, or COW, is the cleaning or washing of cargo tanks with high-pressure
jets of crude oil. This reduces the quantity of oil remaining on board after discharge.

The Protocol also called for existing tankers over 40,000 DWT to be fitted with either
segregated ballast tanks or crude oil washing systems; while for an interim period, it also
allowed for some tankers to use clean ballast tanks, whereby specific cargo tanks are
dedicated to carry ballast water only.

Additional measures for tanker safety were incorporated into the 1978 Protocol to the
International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974. These included
the requirement for inert gas systems (whereby exhaust gases, which are low in oxygen
and thus incombustible, are used to replace flammable gases in tanks) on all new tankers
over 20,000 DWT and specified existing tankers. The SOLAS Protocol also included
requirements for steering gear of tankers; stricter requirements for carrying of radar and
collision avoidance aids; and stricter regimes for surveys and certification.

In order to speed up implementation of MARPOL, the Conference allowed that the
Parties "shall not be bound by the provisions of Annex II of the Convention for a period
of three years" from the date of entry into force of the Protocol, so that countries could
accept Annex I and have three years to implement Annex II.

Both the 1978 MARPOL and SOLAS Protocols were seen as major steps in raising
construction and equipment standards for tankers through more stringent regulations.

Enforcement of MARPOL 73/78

Any violation of the MARPOL 73/78 Convention within the jurisdiction of any Party to
the Convention is punishable either under the law of that Party or under the law of the
flag State. With the exception of very small vessels, ships engaged on international
voyages must carry on board valid international certificates, which may be accepted at

foreign ports as prima facie evidence that the ship complies with the requirements of the

If, however, there are clear grounds for believing that the condition of the ship or its
equipment does not correspond substantially with the particulars of the certificate, or if
the ship does not carry a valid certificate, the authority carrying out the inspection may
detain the ship until it is satisfied that the ship can proceed to sea without presenting
unreasonable threat of harm to the marine environment.

Amendment Procedure

Amendments to the technical Annexes of MARPOL 73/78 can be adopted using the "tacit
acceptance" procedure, whereby the amendments enter into force on a specified date
unless an agreed number of States Parties object by an agreed date.

In practice, amendments are usually adopted either by IMO Marine Environment Protection
Committee (MEPC) or by a Conference of Parties to MARPOL.

The Protocol of 1997 (Annex VI - Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution
from Ships)
Adoption: 26 September 1997
Entry into force: 19 May 2005

The Protocol was adopted at a Conference and adds a new Annex VI on Regulations for
the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships to the Convention.

Why is it required for shipping?

It is important to understand why there has been a need for tackling the issue of air
pollution within the shipping industry. It all started when the ozone layer was found to be
depleting. The ozone layer exists in the atmosphere that protects the life on earth from the
harmful effects of the sun’s rays. The depletion of the ozone layer therefore has
detrimental effects on the human health. To curb this grave problem the international
community agreed to control the usage of elements that play a major role in the depletion
of the ozone layer. The Vienna Convention on the Depletion of Ozone layer; 1985 covers
this commitment, whereby the countries agree, over a period of time, to reduce the usage
of such substances.

Where does shipping fit into all this? This question is to be answered at two levels.

First, the industries of the world have been altering their way of functioning so that the
polluting elements do not reach the atmosphere where they will contribute towards the
depletion of ozone layer.

Second, it is now time for shipping to take note of this aspect of their business. How do
ships contribute? We all know that while moving around the world, the ships always take
the shortest route (keeping safety in mind of course!). So between two points all the ships

are more or less likely to take the same route over and over again. And since this has
happened over the years, and will continue to happen in future, what happens is that
polluting particles from the numerous ships on that route suspend in the atmosphere as a
“band” and thus harm the ozone layer. It has therefore become necessary that the
“atmospheric band” of exhaust gases that will remain suspended on routes of various
shipping lanes around the world does not harm the ozone layer.

The ship’s contributory factors related to the depletion of ozone layer are sulphur oxides,
which are a function of the sulphur content in the fuel oil and the nitrogen oxides, which
are a function of the exhaust of diesel engines.

(oxides of sulphur)

The new Annex VI includes a global cap of 4.5% m/m on the sulphur content of fuel oil
and calls on IMO to monitor the worldwide average sulphur content of fuel once the
Protocol comes into force.

Annex VI contains provisions allowing for special "SOx Emission Control Areas" to be
established with more stringent control on sulphur emissions. In these areas, the sulphur
content of fuel oil used on board ships must not exceed 1.5% m/m. Alternatively, ships
must fit an exhaust gas cleaning system or use any other technological method to limit
SOx emissions.

The Baltic Sea is designated as a SOx Emission Control area in the Protocol (as per 2005
amendments – as mentioned later).

Annex VI prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances, which include
HALON and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). New installations containing ozone-depleting
substances are prohibited on all ships. But new installations containing
hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) are permitted until 1 January 2020.

The requirements of the IMO Protocol are in accordance with the Montreal Protocol of
, as amended in London in 1990.

(oxides of nitrogen)

Annex VI sets limits on emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from diesel engines. A
mandatory NOx Technical Code, developed by IMO, defines how this is to be done.

The Annex also prohibits the incineration on board ship of certain products, such as
contaminated packaging materials and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

This is a Protocol to the Vienna Convention on the Protection of Ozone Layer; 1985. Under the
international law terminology (as explained earlier) this comes the “Protocol Based on a Framework
Treaty” function of the Protocol.

Format of Annex VI

Annex VI consists of three Chapters and a number of Appendices:
· Chapter 1 - General
· Chapter II - Survey, Certification and Means of Control
· Chapter III - Requirements for Control of Emissions from Ships
· Appendices including the form of the International Air Pollution Prevention

Annex VI of MARPOL & the NOx Technical Code explained
Under the new rules, limits are set on sulphur oxide (SOx) and nitrogen oxide (NOx)
emissions from ship exhausts. Deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances are
also prohibited.
The problem of SOx emissions was tackled by introducing a global cap of 4.5 percent by
mass (% m/m – the unit mass) on the sulphur content of fuel oils, with observance to be
monitored by the IMO. In addition, provision was made for creating special ‘SOx
Emission Control Areas’ in environmentally sensitive areas (starting with the Baltic Sea)
with even more stringent rules: i.e. fuel with sulphur content no higher than 1.5% m/m or
the fitting of exhaust gas cleaning technology.
NOx emissions present a more complex problem since they are formed as by-products of
fuel combustion in diesel engines. Whereas in the past all engines were optimised for
minimal fuel consumption, the new Annex VI rules mean that performance must be
trimmed to reduce those emissions. A mandatory NOx Technical Code, developed by
IMO, defines how this is done.
The Code applies to all engines >130kW installed on ships built after January 1, 2000
and all engines that undergo a major conversion (i.e. potentially causing the emission
standards to be exceeded) after that date. Specific NOx emission limits vary according to
engine speed.
But there’s a large amount of misinterpretation within the industry as to what a
NOx-compliant engine is. Tested in the factory, levels may comply with the limits, but
the Code requires the engine to be surveyed every year, in order for the Flag
Administration (or class on their behalf) to issue an International Air Pollution Prevention
(IAPP) Certificate.
There are basically two ways to achieve this. The Engine Parameter Check Method or
Direct Measurement and Monitoring Method.
The first method involves a surveyor coming onboard and carrying out a check of record
books covering engine parameters and an actual inspection of NOx influencing engine
components and adjustable features (which involves stripping the engine). However, the
downside is that incurs an inspection fee, is disruptive and necessitates the installation of
manufacturers’ original NOx-related components.

The second method works by having a NOx analyser fitted onboard the vessel, which
takes readings once every 30 days, with data stored on a CD or mini-disk and handed to
the Administration. The annual survey is then reduced to an inspection of the monitoring
system and data alone, probably only half an hour’s exercise, in order for them to issue an
IAPP. However, here the challenge is to ensure that the system is secure and
he second method works by having a NOx analyser fitted onboard the vessel, which
takes readings once every 30 days, with data stored on a CD or mini-disk and handed to
the Administration. The annual survey is then reduced to an inspection of the monitoring
system and data alone, probably only half an hour’s exercise, in order for them to issue an
IAPP. However, here the challenge is to ensure that the system is secure and
There is a company called MARTEK that has spent three years perfecting its new
MariNOx Engine Emissions Monitoring System, which it claims offers the simplest
solution for compliance with Annex VI and The NOx Technical Code. Constant
monitoring of emissions also allows optimisation of engine performance, allowing fuel
savings of up to 4%, says MARTEK, therefore providing rapid payback of the system’s
cost of around $100,000. Testing has already taken place aboard a tanker of over 100,000
DWT at different engine loads, and both the owner and MARTEK are reported to be
‘delighted’ with results. Once this system, and others developed in the future, becomes
marketable, the cost will definitely come down. And, research and further development in
this area will catch on in the immediate future, as it is now a requirement by law
(MARPOL) to have NO
compliant engines.


Latest amendments to MARPOL 73/78 – From 2000 to 2005

Year of

Adoption of
Entry in force of
the amendment
Section / Chapter
What is the amendment?
2000 13 March ‘00 1 January ‘02 Annex III Deletes tainting as a criterion for marine pollutants from the
Guidelines for the identification of harmful substances in packaged
. The amendment means that products identified, as being
marine pollutants solely on the basis of their tainting properties will
no longer be classified as marine pollutants.

2001 27 April ‘01 1 September ‘02 Annex I 1). The amendment brought in a new global timetable for
accelerating the phase-out of single-hull oil tankers, which was
subsequently revised again by the 2003 amendments (see below).

2). As an additional precautionary measure, a Condition Assessment
Scheme (CAS) will have to be applied to all Category 1 vessels
continuing to trade after 2005 and all Category 2 vessels after 2010

Tainting refers to the ability of a product to be taken up by an organism and thereby affect the taste or smell of seafood making it unpalatable. A substance is defined as tainting when it has been found
to taint seafood.

Although the CAS does not specify structural standards in excess of the provisions of other IMO conventions, codes and recommendations, its requirements stipulate more stringent and transparent
verification of the reported structural condition of the ship and that documentary and survey procedures have been properly carried out and completed. The Scheme requires that compliance with the
CAS be assessed during the Enhanced Survey Programme of Inspections concurrent with intermediate or renewal surveys currently required.

Year of
Adoption of
Entry in force of
the amendment
Section / Chapter
What is the amendment?
27 April ‘01 April ‘05 Annex I 1). Under a revised regulation 13G of Annex I of MARPOL, the final
phasing-out date for Category 1 tankers (pre-MARPOL tankers) is
brought forward to 2005, from 2007. The final phasing-out date for
category 2 and 3 tankers (MARPOL tankers and smaller tankers) is
brought forward to 2010, from 2015

2). A new MARPOL regulation 13H on the prevention of oil
pollution from oil tankers when carrying heavy grade oil (HGO) bans
the carriage of HGO in single-hull tankers of 5,000 tons DWT and
above after the date of entry into force of the regulation (5 April
2005), and in single-hull oil tankers of 600 tons DWT and above but
less than 5,000 tons DWT, not later than the anniversary of their
delivery date in 2008.


The full timetable for the phasing out of single-hull tankers is as follows:

Category of oil tanker Date or year
Category 1 5 April 2005 for ships delivered on 5 April 1982 or earlier
2005 for ships delivered after 5 April 1982
Category 2 and
Category 3
5 April 2005 for ships delivered on 5 April 1977 or earlier
2005 for ships delivered after 5 April 1977 but before 1 January 1978
2006 for ships delivered in 1978 and 1979
2007 for ships delivered in 1980 and 1981
2008 for ships delivered in 1982
2009 for ships delivered in 1983
2010 for ships delivered in 1984 or later

Year of
Adoption of
Entry in force of
the amendment
Section / Chapter
What is the amendment?
2004 1 April ‘04 1 August ‘05 Annex IV The amendment requires ships to be equipped with either a sewage
treatment plant or a sewage comminuting and disinfecting system or
a sewage-holding tank. The revised Annex IV will apply to new ships
engaged in international voyages, of 400 gross tonnage and above or
which are certified to carry more than 15 persons. Existing ships will
be required to comply with the provisions of the revised Annex IV
five years after the date of its entry into force. The discharge of
sewage into the sea will be prohibited, except when the ship has in
operation an approved sewage treatment plant or is discharging
comminuted and disinfected sewage using an approved system at a
distance of more than three nautical miles from the nearest land; or is
discharging sewage which is not comminuted or disinfected at a
distance of more than 12 nautical miles from the nearest land.
2004 1 April ‘04 1 August ‘05 Appendix –
Annex V
Amended to include the recording of the disposal of cargo residues in
the Garbage Record Book

2004 15 Oct ‘04 1 January ‘07 Annex I A revised Annex I
. New requirements in the revised Annex I include
the following:
1). Regulation 22 Pump-room bottom protection: on oil tankers of
5,000 tonnes deadweight and above constructed on or after 1 January
2007, the pump room shall be provided with a double bottom.
2). Regulation 23 Accidental oil outflow performance - applicable to
oil tankers delivered on or after the date of entry into force of revised
Annex I plus 36 months (January 2010); construction requirements to
provide adequate protection against oil pollution in the event of
stranding or collision.
3). The Oman Sea area of the Arabian Seas is designated as a special area

The revised MARPOL Annex I Regulations for the prevention of pollution by oil incorporates the various amendments adopted since MARPOL entered into force in 1983, including the amended
regulation 13G (regulation 20 in the revised annex) and regulation 13H (regulation 21 in the revised annex) on the phasing-in of double hull requirements for oil tankers. It also separates, in different
chapters, the construction and equipment provisions from the operational requirements and makes clear the distinctions between the requirements for new ships and those for existing ships. The revision
provides a more user-friendly, simplified Annex I.

Year of
Adoption of
Entry in force of
the amendment
Section / Chapter
What is the amendment?
2004 15 Oct ‘04 1 January ‘07 Annex II A revised Annex II. The revised Annex II includes a new four-
category categorization system for noxious and liquid substances.
The new categories are:

Category X: Noxious Liquid Substances which, if discharged into the
sea from tank cleaning or de-ballasting operations, are deemed to
present a major hazard to either marine resources or human health
and, therefore, justify the prohibition of the discharge into the marine
Category Y: Noxious Liquid Substances which, if discharged into the
sea from tank cleaning or de-ballasting operations, are deemed to
present a hazard to either marine resources or human health or cause
harm to amenities or other legitimate uses of the sea and therefore
justify a limitation on the quality and quantity of the discharge into
the marine environment;

Category Z: Noxious Liquid Substances which, if discharged into the
sea from tank cleaning or de-ballasting operations, are deemed to
present a minor hazard to either marine resources or human health
and therefore justify less stringent restrictions on the quality and
quantity of the discharge into the marine environment; and

Other Substances (OS): substances which have been evaluated and
found to fall outside Category X, Y or Z because they are considered
to present no harm to marine resources, human health, amenities or
other legitimate uses of the sea when discharged into the sea from
tank cleaning of de-ballasting operations. The discharge of bilge or
ballast water or other residues or mixtures containing these
substances are not subject to any requirements of MARPOL Annex

Year of
Adoption of
Entry in force of
the amendment
Section / Chapter
What is the amendment?
2004 15 Oct ‘04 1 January ‘07 Annex II 1). For ships constructed on or after 1 January 2007 the maximum
permitted residue in the tank and its associated piping left after
discharge will be set at a maximum of 75 litres for products in
categories X, Y and Z - compared with previous limits which set a
maximum of 100 or 300 litres, depending on the product category.

2). The marine pollution hazards of thousands of chemicals have
been evaluated by the Evaluation of Hazardous Substances Working
Group, giving a resultant GESAMP 2 Hazard Profile which indexes
the substance according to its bio-accumulation; bio-degradation;
acute toxicity; chronic toxicity; long-term health effects; and effects
on marine wildlife and on benthic habitats. As a result of the hazard
evaluation process and the new categorization system, vegetable oils,
which were previously categorized as being unrestricted, will now be
required to be carried in chemical tankers.

3). Transport of vegetable oils: allows general dry cargo ships that
are currently certified to carry vegetable oil in bulk to continue to
carry these vegetable oils on specific trades. The guidelines also take
effect on 1 January 2007.

4). Consequential amendments to the IBC Code: Consequential
amendments to the International Bulk Chemical Code (IBC Code).
The amendments incorporate revisions to the categorization of
certain products relating to their properties as potential marine
pollutants as well as revisions to ship type and carriage requirements
following their evaluation by the Evaluation of Hazardous
Substances Working Group.

2005 22 July ‘05 19 May ‘06
Establishment of the Baltic Sea SOx Emission Control Area (SECA). The NOx
Technical Code has also been updated.
22 Nov ‘06
Annex VI
Establishment of North Sea as SECA

Latest Amendments to SOLAS 74

Introduction and history

The SOLAS Convention in its successive forms is generally regarded as the most
important of all international conventions concerning the safety of merchant ships. The
first version was adopted in 1914, in response to the Titanic disaster, the second in 1929,
the third in 1948 and the fourth in 1960

The 1960 Convention - which was adopted on 17 June 1960 and entered into force on 26
May 1965 - was the first major task for IMO after the Organization's creation and it
represented a considerable step forward in modernizing regulations and in keeping pace
with technical developments in the shipping industry.

The intention was to keep the Convention up to date by periodic amendments but in
practice the amendments procedure incorporated proved to be very slow. It became clear
that it would be impossible to secure the entry into force of amendments within a
reasonable period of time.

As a result, a completely new Convention was adopted in 1974 which included not only
the amendments agreed up until that date but a new amendment procedure - the tacit
acceptance procedure - designed to ensure that changes could be made within a specified
(and acceptably short) period of time.

As a result the 1974 Convention has been updated and amended on numerous occasions.
The Convention in force today is sometimes referred to as SOLAS, 1974, as amended.

Amendment procedure

There are two ways to make amendments to SOLAS.

The first one is done at the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) itself. Amendments
proposed by a Contracting Government are circulated at least six months before
consideration by the MSC - which may refer discussions to one or more IMO
Sub-Committees - and amendments are adopted by a two-thirds majority of Contracting
Governments present and voting in the MSC (remember, MSC consists of all member

Amendments by a Conference

The second method for amendments is by calling a diplomatic conference of Contracting
Governments. When Contracting Government requests the holding of a Conference and

As mentioned in my lecture on IMO, the SOLAS Convention of 1914, 1929 and 1948 were adopted by CMI (The International
Maritime Committee) – that is before IMO came into existence. When IMO met for the first time in 1959, the SOLAS Convention
was adopted in 1960.

at least one-third of Contracting Governments agree to hold the Conference.
Amendments are adopted by a two-thirds majority of Contracting Governments present
and voting. Amendments enter into force six months after their deemed acceptance.
t least one-third of Contracting Governments agree to hold the Conference.
Amendments are adopted by a two-thirds majority of Contracting Governments present
and voting. Amendments enter into force six months after their deemed acceptance.

The minimum length of time from circulation of proposed amendments through entry The minimum length of time from circulation of proposed amendments through entry
into force is 24 months - circulation: six months, adoption to deem acceptance date: 12
months minimum; deemed acceptance to entry into force: six months.

Latest amendments to SOLAS 74 – From 2000 to 2005

Year of

Adoption of
Entry in force of
the amendment
Section / Chapter
What is the amendment?
2000 26 May ‘00 1 January ‘02 Chapter II,
Reg. 28.1
Regulation 28.1 requires all Ro-Ro passenger ships to be provided
with a helicopter pick-up area and existing Ro-Ro passenger ships
were required to comply with this regulation not later than the first
periodical survey after 1 July 1997.

2000 6 Dec. ‘00 1 July ‘02 Chapter II - 1 A new regulation in Chapter II-1 (Construction - Structure,
subdivision and stability, machinery and electrical installations)
prohibits the new installation of materials, which contain asbestos on
all ships.
Chapter II - 2 International Code for Fire Safety Systems (FSS Code) adopted
Chapter V Chapter revised.
1). The revised Chapter V (Safety of Navigation) brought in a new
mandatory requirement for voyage data recorders (VDR) to assist in
accident investigations. Regulation 20 requires the following ships to
fit VDR:
- Passenger ships constructed on or after 1 July 2002;
- Ro-Ro passenger ships constructed before 1 July 2002 not later than
the first survey on or after 1 July 2002
- Passenger ships other than Ro-Ro passenger ships constructed
before 1 July 2002 not later than 1 January 2004; and·
- Ships, other than passenger ships, of 3,000 gross tonnage and
upwards constructed on or after 1 July 2002.
2). The revised chapter also requires automatic identification systems
(AIS) on all ships as per a given schedule.

Year of

Adoption of
Entry in force of
the amendment
Section / Chapter
What is the amendment?
2000 6 Dec. ‘00 1 July ‘02 Chapter X The High-Speed Craft Code 2000 is made mandatory for new ships.
The 2000 HSC Code updates the mandatory High-Speed Craft Code
adopted in 1994. The 2000 HSC applies to all HSC built after the
date of entry into force, 1 July 2002.
2001 24 May ‘02 1 January ‘04 Chapter VII IMDG Code made mandatory. Provisions for Chapters 1.3, 2.1, 2.3,
2.33, 3.2, 3.5, 5.4, 5.4.5 and 7.3 remain recommendatory

2001 June ‘01 1 January ‘03 Chapter VII This chapter dealing with dangerous goods as well as, the INF Code
were aligned with the IMDG Code

2002 13 Dec.’02 1 July ‘04 Chapter II-1 In Part B (Subdivision and stability), new regulation II-1/3-6 Access
to spaces in cargo areas of oil tankers and bulk carriers is intended to
ensure that vessels can be properly inspected throughout their
lifespan, by designing and building the ship to provide suitable
means for access.

In Part C (Machinery Installation), new paragraph added to
regulation 31 - Machinery control, to require automation systems to
be designed in a manner which ensures that threshold warning of
impending or imminent slowdown or shutdown of the propulsion
system is given to the officer in charge of the navigational watch in
time to assess navigational circumstances in an emergency.
Chapter III The amendment to Regulation 26 requires life rafts carried on Ro-Ro
passenger ships to be fitted with a radar transponder in the ratio of
one transponder for every four life rafts. The regulation is made
applicable to existing ships as well as new ships.

In practice, this means that from the legal point of view, the whole of the IMDG Code is made mandatory, but provisions of recommendatory nature are editorially expressed in the Code (e.g. using
the word "should" instead of "shall") to clarify their status.

Year of

Adoption of
Entry in force of
the amendment
Section / Chapter
What is the amendment?

13 Dec.’02 1 July ‘04 Chapter XI – 1 Reg. XI-1/5: The regulation requires ships to be issued with a
Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR), which is intended to provide an
on-board record of the history of the ship
Chapter XI – 2 Important amendment as it dealt with maritime security and the ISPS
Code was evolved.
Reg. XI-2/4: Confirms the role of Master in his capacity to use
professional judgement and not be constrained by owner, operator or
charterer in terms of ship security measures.
Reg. XI-2/5: Ships to be provided with a ship security alarm with a
strict timetable between 2004 and 2006
Reg. XI-2/6: Deals with security measures in ports
Chapter XII New regulation XII/12 on Hold, ballast and dry space water level
detectors require the fitting of high level alarms and level monitoring
systems on all bulk carriers, in order to detect water ingress. The
regulation requires the fitting of such alarms on all bulk carriers
regardless of their date of construction.

New regulation XII/13 on Availability of pumping systems would
require the means for draining and pumping dry space bilges and
ballast tanks any part of which is located forward of the collision
bulkhead to be capable of being brought into operation from a readily
accessible enclosed space.

The CSR shall be issued by the Administration and shall contain information such as the name of the ship and of the State whose flag the ship is entitled to fly, the date on which the ship was
registered with that State, the ship's identification number, the port at which the ship is registered and the name of the registered owner(s) and their registered address. Any changes shall be recorded in
the CSR so as to provide updated and current information together with the history of the changes.

When activated the ship security alert system shall initiate and transmit a ship-to-shore security alert to a competent authority designated by the Administration, identifying the ship, its location and
indicating that the security of the ship is under threat or it has been compromised. The system will not raise any alarm on-board the ship. The ship security alert system shall be capable of being activated
from the navigation bridge and in at least one other location.

Year of

Adoption of
Entry in force of
the amendment
Section / Chapter
What is the amendment?
2003 June ‘03 1 July ‘06 Chapter V;
Reg. 28
Amendments to SOLAS regulation V/28 on Records of navigational
activities add a new paragraph on daily reporting. The amendment
will require all ships of 500 gross tonnage and above, engaged on
international voyages exceeding 48 hours, to submit a daily report to
their company, to include ship's position; ship's course and speed;
and details of any external or internal conditions that are affecting the
ship's voyage or the normal safe operation of the ship. The aim of the
amendments is to address the responsibilities of ship operators to
provide information of benefit to those responsible for mounting
rescue operations.

2004 May ‘04 1 July ‘06 Chapter III Amendments to the chapter (Life-saving appliances and
arrangements) which are intended to help prevent accidents with
lifeboats during drills. The amendments, which are expected to enter
into force on 1 July 2006, stem from work by the Sub-Committee on
Ship Design and Equipment (DE) intended to address the
unacceptably high number of accidents with lifeboats that have been
occurring over recent years. Crew have been injured, sometimes
fatally, while participating in lifeboat drills and/or inspections.
Carriage of immersion suits
Amendments to Chapter III Regulation 32 - Personal life-saving
appliances to make changes to the number of immersion suits to be
carried on all cargo ships. The amendments introduce carriage
requirements for one immersion suit per person on board all cargo
ships, including bulk carriers. With this amendment, everyone will
have an immersion suit, just like a life jacket.
IMDG Code amendments: the Code is revised and the security
measure is added.

Year of

Adoption of
Entry in force of
the amendment
Section / Chapter
What is the amendment?
2004 May ‘04 1 July ‘06 Chapter V To add a definition of search and rescue services; to set an obligation
to provide assistance, regardless of nationality or status of persons in
distress, and mandate co-ordination and co-operation between States
to assist the ship's master in delivering persons rescued at sea to a
place of safety; and to add a new regulation on master's discretion.

2004 Dec. ‘04 1 July ‘06 Chapter XII Additional safety for bulk carriers: The amendments include the
addition of a new regulation 14 on restrictions from sailing with any
hold empty and requirements for double-side skin construction as an
optional alternative to single-side skin construction
An amendment to regulation 31 in SOLAS chapter III (Life-saving
appliances and arrangements) makes mandatory the carriage of free-
fall lifeboats on bulk carriers.
Amendments to regulation 20 of SOLAS chapter V (Safety of
Navigation) give a phased-in carriage requirement for a ship borne
simplified voyage data recorder (S-VDR)

The S-VDR is not required to store the same level of detailed data as a standard VDR, but nonetheless should maintain a store, in a secure and retrievable form, of information concerning the position,
movement, physical status, command and control of a vessel over the period leading up to and following an incident.

Year of

Adoption of
Entry in force of
the amendment
Section / Chapter
What is the amendment?
2005 May ‘05 1 Jan’07 /
1 Jan ‘09
Chapter II
1).The revision of SOLAS chapter II-1 is intended to harmonize the provisions on
subdivision and damage stability for passenger and cargo ships (in force in 2009)
2).New regulation II-1/3-7 to require ship construction drawings to
be maintained on board and ashore.
3).New regulation II-1/3-8 concerning towing and mooring
equipment of sufficient safe working load to enable the safe conduct
of all towing and mooring operations associated with the normal
operation of the ship
4). New regulation II-1/23-3 concerning water level detectors in the
cargo hold(s) on new single hold cargo ships other than bulk carriers
5). Amendment to regulation II-1/31 Machinery control to restrict the
application of propulsion control automation systems to new ships
6). Also, with expected entry into force of 1 January 2009, new
SOLAS regulations XI-1/3-1 and amendments to regulation XI-1/5
on the mandatory company and registered owner identification

Latest Amendments to the STCW Convention

The 1978 STCW Convention – A brief explanation

The 1978 STCW Convention was the first to establish basic requirements on training,
certification and watch-keeping for seafarers on an international level. Previously
individual governments established the standards of training, certification and watch
keeping of officers and ratings, usually without reference to practices in other countries.
As a result standards and procedures varied widely, even though shipping is the most
international of all industries.

The Convention prescribes minimum standards relating to training, certification and
watch keeping for seafarers which countries are obliged to meet or exceed.

The Articles of the Convention include requirements relating to issues surrounding
certification and port State control.

One especially important feature of the Convention is that it applies to ships of non-party
States when visiting ports of States, which are Parties to the Convention. Article X
requires Parties to apply the control measures to ships of all flags to the extent necessary
to ensure that no more favourable treatment is given to ships entitled to fly the flag of a
State which is not a Party than is given to ships entitled to fly the flag of a State that is a

The difficulties which could arise for ships of States, which are not Party to the
Convention, is one reason why the Convention has received such wide acceptance. By
December 2000, the STCW Convention had 135 Parties, representing 97.53 percent of
world shipping tonnage.

The STCW Code

Sections in the STCW Code support the regulations contained in the Convention.
Generally speaking, the Convention contains basic requirements, which are then enlarged
upon and explained in the Code.

Part A of the Code is mandatory. The minimum standards of competence required for
seagoing personnel are given in detail in a series of tables. Chapter II of the Code, for
example, deals with standards regarding the master and deck department.

Part B of the Code contains recommended guidance, which is intended to help Parties
implement the Convention. The measures suggested are not mandatory and the examples
given are only intended to illustrate how certain Convention requirements may be
complied with. However, the recommendations in general represent an approach that has
been harmonized by discussions within IMO and consultation with other international
Amendment Procedure

Amendments to the 1978 STCW Convention's technical Annex may be adopted by a
Conference of STCW Parties or by IMO Maritime Safety Committee, expanded to
include all Contracting Parties, some of whom may not be members of the Organization.

Amendments to the STCW Annex will normally enter into force one and a half years
after being communicated to all Parties unless, in the meantime, they are rejected by
one-third of the Parties or by Parties whose combined fleets represent 50 per cent of
world tonnage.

The White List

The first so-called “White List” of countries deemed to be giving “full and complete
effect” to the revised STCW Convention (STCW 95) was published by IMO following
the 73rd session of the Organization’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), meeting from
27 November to 6 December 2000.

It is expected that Port State Control inspectors will increasingly target ships flying flags
of countries that are not on the White List. A Flag state Party that is on the White List
may, as a matter of policy, elect not to accept seafarers with certificates issued by non
White List countries for service on its ships. If it does accept such seafarers, they will be
required by 1 February 2002 also to have an endorsement, issued by the flag state, to
show that their certificate is recognized by the flag state.

By 1 February 2002, masters and officers should hold STCW 95 certificates or
endorsements issued by the flag State. Certificates issued and endorsed under the
provisions of the 1978 STCW Convention will be valid until their expiry date.

The 1995 amendments (The main amendment so far!)
Adoption: 7 July 1995
Entry into force: 1 February 1997

The 1995 amendments, adopted by a Conference, represented a major revision of the
Convention, in response to a recognized need to bring the Convention up to date and to
respond to critics who pointed out the many vague phrases, such as "to the satisfaction of
the Administration", which resulted in different interpretations being made.

Others complained that the Convention was never uniformly applied and did not impose
any strict obligations on Parties regarding implementation. The 1995 amendments
entered into force on 1 February 1997. However, until 1 February 2002, Parties could
continue to issue, recognize and endorse certificates, which applied before that date in
respect of seafarers who began training or seagoing service before 1 August 1998.

One of the major features of the revision was the division of the technical annex into
regulations, divided into Chapters as before, and a new STCW Code, to which many

technical regulations have been transferred. Part A of the Code is mandatory while Part B
is recommended.

Dividing the regulations up in this way makes administration easier and it also makes the
task of revising and updating them more simple: for procedural and legal reasons there is
no need to call a full conference to make changes to Codes.

Some of the most important amendments adopted by the Conference concern Chapter I -
General Provisions. They include the following:

Ensuring compliance with the Convention

Parties to the Convention were required to provide detailed information to IMO
concerning administrative measures taken to ensure compliance with the Convention by
means of giving details of compliance with the Convention, education and training
courses, certification procedures and other factors relevant to implementation. This
represented the first time that IMO had been called upon to act in relation to compliance
and implementation - generally, implementation is down to the flag States, and while port
State control also acts to ensure compliance.

Port State control

The revised Chapter I includes enhanced procedures concerning the exercise of port State
to allow intervention in the case of deficiencies deemed to pose a danger to persons,
property or the environment (regulation I/4). This can take place if certificates are not in
order or if the ship is involved in a collision or grounding, if there is an illegal discharge
of substances (causing pollution) or if the ship is manoeuvred in an erratic or unsafe
manner, etc.

The main chapters dealing with the functions, responsibility and training of was revised
and up-date with respect to:

Chapter II: Master and deck department
Chapter III: Engine department
Chapter IV: Radio communication and radio personnel
Special training requirements for personnel on certain types of ships

Special requirements were introduced concerning the training and qualifications of
personnel on board Ro-Ro passenger ships. Previously the only special requirements in
the Convention concerned crews on tankers. This change was made in response to
proposals made by the Panel of Experts set up to look into Ro-Ro safety following the
capsize and sinking of the ferry Estonia in September 1994. Crews on Ro-Ro ferries
have to receive training in technical aspects and also in crowd and crisis management and
human behaviour.

Emergency, occupational safety, medical care and survival functions

Mandatory minimum requirements were included for familiarization, basic safety training
and instruction for all seafarers; mandatory minimum requirements for the issue of
certificates of proficiency in survival craft, rescue boats and fast rescue boats; mandatory
minimum requirements for training in advanced fire-fighting; and mandatory minimum
requirements relating to medical first aid and medical care.

Alternative certification

Regulations regarding alternative certification (also known as the functional approach)
are included in a new Chapter VII. This involves enabling crews to gain training and certification
in various departments of seafaring rather than being confined to one branch (such as deck or
engine room) for their entire career. Although it is a relatively new concept, the 1995 Conference
was anxious not to prevent its development. At the same time, the new Chapter is intended to
ensure that safety and the environment are not threatened in any way. The use of equivalent
educational and training arrangements is permitted under article IX.


Measures were introduced for watch-keeping personnel to prevent fatigue.
Administrations are required to establish and enforce rest periods for watch-keeping
personnel and to ensure that watch systems are so arranged that the efficiency of watch-
keeping personnel is not impaired by fatigue.

Use of simulators in training

Technical innovations, such as the use of simulators for training and assessment purposes
have been recognized. Simulators are mandatory for training in the use of radar and
automatic radar plotting aids (regulation I/12 and section A-I/12 of the STCW Code).

The 1997 Amendments
Adoption: June 1997
Entry into force: 1 January 1999
The amendments concern training for personnel on passenger ships. The amendments
include an additional Regulation V/3 in Chapter V on Mandatory minimum requirements
for the training and qualifications of masters, officers, ratings and other personnel on
passenger ships other than Ro-Ro passenger ships. Related additions are also made to the
STCW Code, covering Crowd management training; Familiarization training; Safety
training for personnel providing direct service to passengers in passenger spaces;
Passenger safety; and Crisis management and human behaviour training.

The 1998 Amendments
Adoption: 9 December 1998
Entry into force: 1 January 2003 (under tacit acceptance)

Amendments to the STCW Code are aimed at improving minimum standards of

competence of crews, in particular relating to cargo securing, loading and unloading on
bulk carriers, since these procedures have the potential to put undue stresses on the ship's
structure. The amendments concern sections A-II/1 and A-II/2 under "Cargo handling
and stowage at the operational and management levels".

Latest amendments to the LOAD LINE Convention 1966

International Convention on Load Lines, 1966

Adoption: 5 April 1966
Entry into force: 21 July 1968

Introduction and history

It has long been recognized that limitations on the draught to which a ship may be loaded
make a significant contribution to her safety. These limits are given in the form of
freeboards, which constitute, besides external weather-tight and watertight integrity, the
main objective of the Convention.

The first International Convention on Load Lines, adopted in 1930, was based on the
principle of reserve buoyancy, although it was recognized then that the freeboard should
also ensure adequate stability and avoid excessive stress on the ship's hull as a result of
In the 1966 Load Lines convention, adopted by IMO, provisions were made determining
the freeboard of tankers by subdivision and damage stability calculations.

The regulations take into account the potential hazards present in different zones and
different seasons. The technical annex contains several additional safety measures
concerning doors, freeing ports, hatchways and other items. The main purpose of these
measures is to ensure the watertight integrity of ships' hulls below the freeboard deck.

All assigned load lines must be marked amidships on each side of the ship, together with
the deck line. Ships intended for the carriage of timber deck cargo are assigned a smaller
freeboard as the deck cargo provides protection against the impact of waves.

Load Lines 1966 – Annexes

The Convention includes Annex I, divided into four Chapters:

Chapter I - General;
Chapter II - Conditions of assignment of freeboard;
Chapter III - Freeboards;
Chapter IV - Special requirements for ships assigned timber freeboards.

Annex II covers Zones, areas and seasonal periods.

Annex III contains certificates, including the International Load Line Certificate.

Amendments 1971, 1975, 1979, 1983

The 1966 Convention provided for amendments to be made by explicit acceptance. The
Maritime Safety Committee, the IMO Assembly, could consider amendments or by a
Conference of Governments. Amendments would then only come into force 12 months
after being accepted by two-thirds of Contracting Parties. In practice, amendments
adopted between 1971 and 1983 never received enough acceptances to enter into force.
These included:

The 1971 amendments - to make certain improvements to the text and to the chart
of zones and seasonal area
The 1975 amendments - to introduce the principle of 'tacit acceptance' into the

The 1979 amendments - to make some alterations to zone boundaries off the coast
of Australia
The 1983 amendments - to extend the summer and tropical zones southward off
the coast of Chile.

The 1988 Protocol
Adoption: 11 November 1988
Entry into force: 3 February 2000

The Protocol was primarily adopted in order to harmonize the Convention's survey and
certification requirement with those contained in SOLAS and MARPOL 73/78.

The harmonized system alleviates the problems caused by survey dates and intervals
between surveys, which do not coincide, so that a ship should no longer have to go into
port or repair yard for a survey required by one Convention shortly after doing the same
thing in connection with another instrument.

The 1988 Load Lines Protocol revised certain regulations in the technical Annexes to the
Load Lines Convention and introduced the tacit amendment procedure (which was
already applicable to the 1974 SOLAS Convention) Amendments to the Convention may
be considered either by the Maritime Safety Committee or by a Conference of Parties.

Amendments must be adopted by a two-thirds majority of Parties to the Convention
present and voting. Amendments enter into force six months after the deemed date of
acceptance - which must be at least a year after the date of communication of adoption of
amendments unless they are rejected by one-third of Parties. Usually, the date from
adoption to deemed acceptance is two years.

The 1995 amendments
Adopted: 23 November 1995
Entry into force: 12 months after being accepted by two-thirds of Contracting

Status: 7 acceptances have been received (currently, 95 acceptances are required before
the amendments can enter into force). The amendments concern the southern tropical
zone off the coast of Australia and are now likely to be incorporated in a general revision
of the Convention.

The 2003 amendments
Adopted: June 2003
Entry into force: 1 January 2005 (under tacit acceptance)

The amendments to Annex B to the 1988 Load Lines Protocol (i.e. the International
Convention on Load Lines, 1966, as modified by the Protocol of 1988 relating thereto)
include a number of important revisions, in particular to regulations concerning: strength
and intact stability of ships; definitions; superstructure and bulkheads; doors; position of
hatchways, doorways and ventilators; hatchway coamings; hatch covers; machinery space
openings; miscellaneous openings in freeboard and superstructure decks; cargo ports and
other similar openings; spurling pipes and cable lockers; side scuttles; windows and
skylights; calculation of freeing ports; protection of the crew and means of safe passage
for crew; calculation of freeboard; sheer; minimum bow height and reserve buoyancy;
and others. The amendments amount to a comprehensive revision of the technical
regulations of the original Load Lines Convention.


What has been presented above is an endeavour to help the student to comprehend the
various amendments and to bring home the point that any convention has to flexible
enough to incorporate the changing world of shipping. As more developments take place,
the conventions will be amended to incorporate the changes in order to keep pace.
Furthermore, the student should also realise that the conventions are normally made
keeping the future in mind and therefore they cannot be rigid.

Chapter 11: Control Procedures

Chapter 11 – Control Procedures


All ocean-going vessels engaged in international commerce must have a country of
registry in order to operate in international waters. Accordingly, most countries provide
these registration services or flags of registry. These nations, which provide vessel
owners with comprehensive, competitive ship registry services and maritime expertise,
are all member states of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

In the competitive international shipping industry, there are a number of factors that must
be met for a valid registry. One of the most important is that a flag state be an IMO
member nation, which has adopted all of the IMO maritime safety Resolutions and
Conventions. Secondly, a flag state should have an established maritime organization that
is capable of enforcing all international and national regulations. Major flag registries
provide comprehensive maritime expertise and administrative services; require safety
inspections, and utilize recognized classification societies to monitor its vessels
compliance with all international and flag state standards.

Flag states have certain rules and requirements for vessels that fly their flags. Major
requirements include crew nationality, crew composition, ship owner citizenship and ship
building requirements. The construction requirement applies to the entire hull and
superstructure of the ship and the majority of all materials outfitting the vessel.

Regardless of the flag a vessel flies, compliance with, for example SOLAS, standards and
other internationally recognized conventions are monitored by the flag state since it is
their primary responsibility. The flag state has the main responsibility for ensuring that
its vessels meet all established international guidelines. The flag state conducts annual
ship examinations, which include a thorough inspection of the vessel and its safety
systems. As a result of these examinations, a vessel is certified to be in compliance with
all international safety standards. The effort of the flag state is also augmented by an
additional annual survey conducted by a classification society to certify a vessel’s
seaworthiness and structural integrity. The latter survey is done to ensure the
maintenance of Class.

Port states, that is, those countries at whose ports a vessel calls, also play an important
role in this regulatory framework. To ensure compliance with safety requirements, the
port state conducts inspections on all vessels visiting its ports. This cooperative effort
between flag and port states provides a maritime safety enforcement system, which has
proven effective over the years.

Then there are very localised inspections. These pertain to ascertain specific functions.
The case in point here is the vetting inspections conducted by the oil industry prior to
chartering a vessel. There is also a condition survey done by a P & I Club prior to
underwriting a vessel in its club to provide third party insurance cover. And finally, there

can also be a port terminal inspection which is highly a localised inspection pertaining to
the existing laws being followed in a particular port. The following table will help
understand the concept of various control procedures.

Type of Entity Purpose Certificate issued, if any Types of survey
Flag State To ensure compliance with
international law
Statutory certificates under,
Initial, annual, intermediate, renewal for issuance
and maintenance of statutory certificates
Insurance Certificate of Class Initial, annual, intermediate, renewal for the
Port State
compliance with
international law (as
incorporated in their
domestic law) as well as a
vested interest in
protecting their territorial
At the end of the said
At random in a port. However, the randomness is
normally controlled if the port state is a part of a
regional MOU
For tanker chartering At the end of the said
The entire vessel prior to being chartered
P & I Insurance cover The certificate from the
P & I Club to indicate the
The entire vessel prior to giving third party
insurance cover
Inspection by
Port Terminal
Depending on the local law At the end of the said
Very local

What is the difference between an inspection and a survey?

An inspection is limited in scope. The intention is to get a feel (on part of the inspector)
of how the performance standards are being met. On the other hand, a survey is far more
detailed. The concept of the word “analysis” is very closely related to the process of a
survey. It is analysis of the whole situation be it the functioning of an equipment or the
functioning of a “system” at large. For instance, a PSC inspector begins his work on
board the ship by an inspection that is known as the preliminary inspection. If satisfied,
he limits his inspection. But if he has reason to believe that there is a lacuna in the normal
functioning on board, then he is bound to go into the details by starting an audit trail. It
then becomes a survey. He will analyse whether the SMS on board is functioning or not.

1. Flag State Control

The flag state is responsible, under international law, to ensure that a ship is maintained
in a safe, sound and seaworthiness condition. To ensure that the ship does so, the flag
state inspects, or arranges for inspection, the ship and issues what are called the statutory
certificates. These certificates are governed by conventions under international law such
as, SOLAS, MARPOL, Load-line, and STCW etc.

Statutory Certificates

Surveyors thoroughly review a vessel's documentation (certificates) to ensure that they
comply with international standards with regard to safety, pollution prevention and safe
manning during the intervals mandated by the various conventions. Surveys must be
completed within the required survey window as stipulated under the international law.
The surveys are conducted for the issuance, and subsequent maintenance, of the
following certificates:

Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate

Cargo Ship Safety Radio Certificate
Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate:

- Lifesaving Appliance.
- Fire fighting Equipment
- Navigation Equipment

Load Line Certificate
Documentation, and Safe Manning certificate
Accommodations, provisions, and working spaces

It is the responsibility of the flag state to ensure adherence, by a ship, to international law
with regard to housekeeping under the ILO Convention 147. The above certification
ensures the compliance with five major conventions namely, SOLAS, MARPOL, STCW,
Load-line and ILO 147.

All the above certificates have a validity of five years. During this period, the ship is
surveyed annually, periodically (intermediate survey) and finally at the end of five years
for renewal. The extent of survey and the time spent in conducting a survey varies at each
survey. This is a function of the age, type and size of the vessel and the survey can extend
from a few hours to a few weeks!

2. Classification Surveys

When the vessel is being built, it has now become imperative by tradition and practice of
the shipping world over the years that the ship is classed by a classification society. The
classification society starts its work from the approval of plans prior to the
commencement of construction. During the entire period the ship is under construction, a
classification surveyor will survey the workmanship of construction. The objective here
is of course from the future insurance point of view, but a ship owner today cannot afford
to function without the certification from a classification society. So, in a nutshell, the
scope of classification is:

A technical review of the design plans and related documents for a new vessel to
verify compliance with the applicable rules

Attendance at the construction of the vessel in the shipyard by a classification
society surveyor(s), and at the relevant production facilities that provide key
components such as the steel, engine, generators and castings, to verify that the
vessel is constructed in accordance with the classification rules

Upon satisfactory completion of the above, the ship owner’s request for the
issuance of a class certificate will be considered by the relevant classification
committee, or another body, of the class society and, if deemed satisfactory, the
assignment of class will be approved and a certificate of classification issued

Once in service, the owner must submit the vessel to a clearly specified program
of periodical class surveys, carried out onboard the vessel, to verify that the ship
continues to meet the relevant rule conditions for continuation of class.

A classification survey is therefore a visual examination that normally consists of:

- An overall examination of the items for survey,
- Detailed checks of selected parts,
- Witnessing tests, measurements and trials where applicable.

When a surveyor identifies corrosion, structural defects or damage to hull,
machinery and/or any piece of its equipment which, in the opinion of the surveyor,
affects the ship’s class, remedial measures and/or appropriate
recommendations/conditions of class are implemented before the ship continues in

‘Recommendation’ and ‘condition of class’ are synonymous terms used by
IACS societies for requirements that specific measures, repairs, request for surveys etc.,
are to be carried out by the owner within a specified time period in order to retain class.

Each classed vessel is subject to a specified program of periodic surveys
after delivery. These are based on a five-year cycle and consist of annual surveys, an
intermediate survey and a class renewal/special survey (held every 5 years). The rigor of each
specified survey increases with the age of the vessel.

The class renewal surveys/special surveys include extensive out-of-water
examinations to verify that the structure, main and essential auxiliary machinery, systems
and equipment of the ship remain in a condition, which satisfies the rules. The
examination of the hull is supplemented, when specified, by ultrasonic thickness
measurements and the witnessing of tests as specified in the rules and as deemed
necessary by the attending surveyor. The survey is intended to assess whether the
structural integrity remains effective and to identify areas that exhibit substantial
corrosion, significant deformation, fractures, damages or other structural deterioration.

The intermediate survey (held approximately half way between special
surveys) includes examinations and checks as specified in the rules to determine whether
the ship remains in a general condition, which satisfies the rule requirements. According
to the type and age of the ship, dry-docking may be required and the examinations of the
hull may be supplemented by ultrasonic thickness measurements as specified in the rules
and where deemed necessary by the attending surveyor.

At the time of annual surveys, the ship is generally examined. The survey
includes an external, general inspection of the hull, equipment and machinery of the ship
and some witnessing of tests, so far as is necessary and practical in order to determine
whether the ship remains in a general condition which satisfies the Rule requirements.
Older ships of certain types may also be subject to a general examination of some
specified internal areas of the hull. Depending upon the age, size, type and condition of
the vessel, an annual survey may take from several hours to a few days to complete.
What is the difference between classification and certification?
Certification is a one-time verification that something meets a standard. Certification is a
process that ensures that a system complies with national, international, industry or other
standards at the time of certification. The process of Certification generally concerns
systems that will become part of the ship.

Classification is part of a life-long process to assure a ship is built and maintained to
industry-accepted standards. There are four steps to it:
1. Development of Rules of Classification: Rules are developed in accordance with field
and engineering experience and are reviewed and approved by an extensive committee
system of foremost industry experts. Thus the Rules are acceptable to a broad spectrum

of owners, charterers, operators, and the class society’s in-house experts. Not all
classification societies have such a "public" Rule-making process.

2. Design Review: Designers of marine vessels submit their designs to classification
society (of their choice) engineers to verify that requirements have been met. Lists of
requirements for submittals are found in each society’s set of Rules or Guides.

3. Survey during construction. Approved design drawings are sent to classification
surveyors at vendor shops and fabrication yards. There the surveyors confirm that the
equipment as built conforms to the requirements and the approved drawings.

4. Surveys after construction. Once commissioned, periodic surveys as well as damage
and repair surveys, are performed throughout the life of the ship to ensure that the ship
remains in compliance with the classification rules, thereby enhancing the safety of the
ship and the protection of the environment. Classification surveyors visit each vessel at
least every 15 months over a five-year cycle. An "Intermediate" survey is conducted after
two and a half years. Once each five years a comprehensive survey is performed, a
"Special" survey, including dry-docking.

Harmonization of surveys

A brief word on harmonisation. On going through the write up so far, you may have a
feeling that why the same issue has to be surveyed more than once? Well, the answer is
that each survey has a different purpose and therefore done by a different entity. This
however does not mean that there has to be too much of repetition in the concept of
surveying a ship. And that is where the IMO has brought about the scheme of
harmonisation of surveys whereby, the various entities co-operate with each other and try
to survey at the same time. This not only reduces the workload of the ship’s staff but also
reduces the time spent.

3. Port State Control (this is also dealt with as a separate chapter)

Port State Control (PSC) is the inspection of foreign ships in national ports to verify that
the condition of the ship and its equipment comply with the requirements of international
regulations and that the ship is manned and operated in compliance with these rules.

Many of IMO most important technical conventions contain provisions for ships to be
inspected when they visit foreign ports to ensure that they meet IMO requirements.
This ensures that as many ships as possible are inspected but at the same time prevents
ships being delayed by unnecessary inspections. The primary responsibility for ships'

These inspections were originally intended to be a back up to flag State implementation,
but experience has shown that they can be extremely effective, especially if organized on
a regional basis. A ship going to a port in one country will normally visit other countries
in the region before embarking on its return voyage and it is to everybody's advantage if
inspections can be closely co-ordinated.

standards rests with the flag State - but port State control provides a "safety net" to catch
substandard ships.
Port State Control (PSC) is a ship inspection program whereby foreign vessels entering a
sovereign state’s waters are boarded and inspected to ensure compliance with various
major international maritime conventions, namely:
1. International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS),

Ship vetting is an in-depth assessment of a ship with respect to its quality and that of its
owner, operator and manager, right from commissioning to current status. Vetting
enables the charterer to optimise vessel selection by matching available vessels to
operational requirements of the voyage and therefore maximising efficiency.

A point to also be noted is the fact that the vested interest of the government of a PSC
inspection is to ensure that its territory is not harmed by a visiting vessel in terms of safe
operations and preventing pollution to its environment.

2. International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL),
International Convention on Standards of Training Certification and Watch
keeping for Seafarer (STCW),
3. Load Lines (LL),
4. Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
5. International Labour Organization Convention No. 147 Merchant Shipping
(Minimum Standards) (ILO 147).

The level of survey conducted by a PSC inspector can go from a preliminary inspection
to a more detailed inspection of the entire vessel. This will be dependent upon the
impression that he gets while on board. What he will check is to ensure that there is a
well-planned system of operation on board. If satisfied at the initial stage, then he will
limit his inspection otherwise; he will start his detailed inspection.

4. Vetting Inspections
Brief History

Tanker ownership was traditionally with oil companies. Long-term time charters were
becoming increasingly rare with the spot charter market becoming very active.

In and around the ‘70s and ‘80s, the oil industry saw ownership of tankers gradually
moving from oil companies to independent ship owners. The pattern of tanker ownership
moved from the well-established independent ship owner with a substantial fleet to non-
traditional shipping interests, often with no active interest or experience in shipping. The
fleet size was also small, sometimes only a single ship representing the owner’s stake in
the oil industry.

Ship managers began to play a growing and influential role in this changing world. The
oil industry, now being a major spot charterer of all types of tonnage, began to be
concerned with the quality of tankers. A number of member companies of an
internationally well-established organisation called the Oil Companies International
Marine Forum (OCIMF) began the development of ship vetting systems in the late '70s
and early '80s. Each scheme was unique to the individual company's needs. Recognising
that different standards were sometimes being applied, with consequent confusion
amongst ship owners, OCIMF members developed Inspection Guidelines for Oil Tankers
in 1989, based on international conventions such as SOLAS, MARPOL, STCW etc. and
industry-accepted technical guidance such as ISGOTT (International Safety Guide for Oil
Tankers and Terminals) and other standards.

The Objectives of

Individual in-house databases enabled the oil company to form a reliable view of a ship's
suitability for charter. The number of major tanker accidents in 1989, ship quality and
liability issues assumed an even greater prominence in the oil industry. Besides vessels,
there was a realisation in the industry that shore-based management of the ship was
important as well. Therefore, OCIMF members began to assess the quality of ship
management agencies, operators, their policies and the implementation of those policies.

The overall aim is to increase safety at sea and to decrease pollution. The following
issues are part of the broader perspective of ship vetting:
To decrease the danger of explosion and/or fire and the ensuing damages for the
terminal installation and its surroundings
To ensure that cargo is not carried on substandard ships

(1). Ship

To check whether the ship complies in every respect with international legislation
and with certain industrial standards
To avoid major oil pollution cases because it damages the reputation of oil
companies and it involves enormous financial responsibilities.
At the same time, the environment is better protected. To increase safety on board
as well as to better the safety management of a company
There are too many implications if the cargo is damaged or lost due to
substandard vessels, owners, operators or managers.

There are at present mainly two initiatives working in this field:
Inspection Report Programme (SIRE) is a project worked out by OCIMF and
concerns the transport of oil by sea.

Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE)

With a significant increase in ship inspection activity, OCIMF members with ship vetting
programmes recognised that duplication of ship inspections was occurring and
occasionally several inspectors from oil companies, and indeed from other organisations
such as Port State Control and insurance interests, had been on board the ship at the same

time seeking to carry out inspections. Clearly, apart from the sheer inefficiency of this
activity, ship staff was put under considerable stress at times when the ship was busy in
port, probably loading or discharging. OCIMF members also recognised that it would be
impossible for individual companies to maintain up-to-date inspection reports on every
ship that was potentially of interest to them and that some system of sharing inspection
reports was necessary. This combination of circumstances led to the development of the
SIRE programme that was launched in November 1993. The original SIRE programme
consisted of a database comprising OCIMF member company's inspection reports
compiled according to each company's individual inspection procedures. The SIRE report
itself contained only that information that had been submitted by the inspecting company
and neither the report nor OCIMF provided any conclusion, rating or recommendation as
to the suitability of the ship. A key feature of SIRE is that membership is entirely

(2). Chemical Distribution Institute (CDI) is an independent organisation with its own
statutes and it is also part of a bigger project, initiated under the ‘Responsible Care
Programme’ of the European Community, concerning the distribution, transport and
storage of chemicals and gas over the road, in the air and at sea.

The Chemical Distribution Institute, based in the UK has its own inspection system,
which it is harmonising with the OCIMF SIRE system. The form was originally
introduced by CEFIC, the European Chemical Industry Council. The CDI is gradually
harmonising its safety measures with OCIMF, so the two groups can share information.

The Inspection Process

Inspectors working for oil companies go on board ship and make a report based on
quality of the vessel, its equipment and operational practices. Under the SIRE
programme, all the vetting inspections, which oil companies make on ship owners, are
put into a standard format, so they can be shared between the oil companies.
Chemical Distribution Institute

Companies in CDI include Chevron, DOW, Lyondell, BP Norsk Shell, Du Pont,
ExxonMobil, Hoechst, Akzo Nobel, BASF, ConocoPhillips, Petrobras and Kuwait
Petroleum. The databases are available to all participating companies, accredited
inspectors, ship owners (marine) and terminal operators (terminals). CDI produces report
analysis software, which can, for example, shows tables and reports of the number and
percentage of non-conformances, inspector observations, comments and non-
conformances by category.

The vetting inspection is very thorough and strict. Under no circumstances can it be taken
lightly. Every aspect on the ship is put to test, be it big or small – from the main engine to
the galley exhaust! The inspection takes a few hours to conduct but once accomplished
and passed, there is normally a validity of one year.

An important point to note is that if a deficiency found is a small one, the ship owner
(through the ship’s staff) is given time to have it rectified. After which, if found
satisfactory, the ship is passed. But if the deficiency is big, the ship fails the inspection
and the ship will once again be put to an entire vetting inspection to have it passed. But
under no circumstances can a ship be detained. All the failure of a vetting inspection
results in is that the oil company will not put its cargo on the vessel till such time the
vessel has passed the vetting inspection. This in itself is a big commercial loss for the
ship owner!

If information is received from a third party e.g. PSC that the ship is below Club

The inspections can therefore include a thorough checking of the cargo equipment, the
safety measures on board in normal circumstance as well as, in emergency situations, all
the overboard discharges and the levels of communication between the ship and the port.
It is in the interest of the vessel that prior to its arrival, it confirms from the ship’s agent
regarding the presence of any local laws that the port is governed by for which the vessel
will have to undergo an inspection.
5. Ship Condition Surveys

The P & I Club organises condition surveys to enable managers to determine whether
entered ships conform to acceptable standards. These are completed on vessels for the
following reasons:

When ships over 10 yrs old are entered in the club, this can be either a pre-entry
or a post entry condition survey
If after a visit by a club inspector, the inspector feels that the ship does not
conform to the Clubs standards.
Following a claim, which could possibly have occurred due to a lapse in on board
If the ship changes classification societies, usually from an IACS to a non IACS
If after a lengthy period of lay up (6 months or more) a ship is re-activated

It is important to note that independent surveyors appointed by the ship inspection
department of a P & I Club carry out the condition surveys. It is vital in a mutual club
that each Member feels confident they are sharing their claims and premium with ship
owners of similar quality. The condition survey system is a way of ensuring this
confidence is maintained.
6. Surveys by Port Terminal Authorities

This is a highly localised form of survey. It is entirely dependent upon the domestic and
local laws by which a particular port is governed. The objective of such an inspection is
once again to ensure that the ship will undertake the cargo operations in a safe manner
without causing any harm to the port property, its dockworkers and the environment.


The idea here has been to educate the student on the various aspects of control measures
that a ship is put to. It is imperative to bear in mind that all of the above control measures
have become, and will get more and more enhanced in future, with the implementation of
the Safety Management System (SMS) on board under the purview of the ISM Code. The
idea is not to just prepare for a particular survey, have the vessel passed and so certified,
and then return to a casual way of doing business on board. The idea is to ensure that a
vessel is in a constant state of readiness to undertake any survey. That is the idea of
developing a “safety culture” on board as mentioned in my lecture on ISM Code.

Chapter 12 – Port State Control

Chapter 12 -Port State Control

Port State Control (PSC) is the inspection of foreign ships in national ports to verify that
the condition of the ship and its equipment comply with the requirements of
international regulations and that the ship is manned and operated in compliance with
these rules.

Many of IMO most important technical conventions contain provisions for ships to be
inspected when they visit foreign ports to ensure that they meet IMO requirements.

3. Load Lines (LL),
These inspections were originally intended to be a back up to flag State implementation,
but experience has shown that they can be extremely effective, especially if organized
on a regional basis. A ship going to a port in one country will normally visit other
countries in the region before embarking on its return voyage and it is to everybody's
advantage if inspections can be closely co-ordinated.

This ensures that as many ships as possible are inspected but at the same time prevents
ships being delayed by unnecessary inspections. The primary responsibility for ships’
standards rests with the flag state – but Port State Control provides a “safety net” to catch
sub-standard ships.

IMO has encouraged the establishment of regional port state control organizations and
agreements on PSC – Memoranda of Understanding or MOU – have been signed
covering all of the world’s oceans:
1. Europe and the north Atlantic (Paris MOD);
2. Asia and the Pacific (Tokyo MOU);
3. Latin America (Acuerdo de Vifia del Mar);
4. Caribbean (Caribbean MOD);
5. West and Central Africa (Abuja MOD);
6. The Black Sea region (Black Sea MOD);
7. The Mediterranean (Mediterranean MOU);
8. The Indian Ocean (Indian Ocean MOU); and
9. The Arab States of the Gulf (GCC MOU (Riyadh MOU».

Port State Control (PSC) is a ship inspection program whereby foreign vessels entering
a sovereign state's waters are boarded and inspected to ensure compliance with various
major international maritime conventions, namely:

1. International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS),
2. International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships
(MARPOL), International Convention on Standards of Training Certification
and Watch keeping for Seafarer (STCW\
4. Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
5. International Labour Organization Convention No. 147 Merchant Shipping
(Minimum Standards) (ILO 147).

PSC programs are of-a regional nature; that is, several countries sharing common waters
have grouped together under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to ensure that
vessels trading in their area are not substandard.

The nature and origins of port state control

The concept of a state exercising its jurisdiction over ships that ply its waters and
particularly those that call at its ports is well established in both history and legal

It is universally acknowledged that once a ship voluntarily enters a port it becomes fully
subject to the laws and regulations prescribed by the officials of that territory for events
relating to such use and that all types of vessels, military and other, are in common
expectation obliged to comply with the coastal regulations about proper procedures to be
employed and permissible activities within the internal waters.

But the practice of majority of ports, at least until the last decade, was to give scant
inspection to calling vessels. A pilot may well have checked whether the vessel was
loaded below her marks, but even this was circumvented by not the uncommon but
immensely dangerous practice of ‘hogging’ the ship to bend her load-line above the
waterline. Maritime authorities were concerned almost exclusively with the affairs of
their own ships (and then often in a far too lackadaisical manner). With the growth of
flags of convenience – many of whose maritime authorities turned a blind eye to the
condition of the vessels whose fees they so readily received – with the lack of interest by
port authorities, and with the inadequacies of general port state policing of passing ships,
the un-seaworthy ship (euphemistically referred to ‘sub-standard’) abounded. That this
slide was hastened by the general decline in world trade in the late 1970, particularly for
non-containerised break bulk cargo vessels, bulk carriers and tankers, cannot be denied.
Surplus and superannuated tonnage long overdue for the scrap-yard can only be used to
make meagre profits in the hands of marginal and economically stressed ship owners.

It was in relation to Oil tankers (many of which were knocked together with undue haste
in the oil boom of the early 1970's) that the international community first sat up and took
notice that there was perhaps something untoward going on in the shipping industry. The
sad reality of news making is that it is often easier to galvanise public opinion with a
single photograph of three forlorn oil-soiled penguins than with a headline recording the
sinking of yet another bulk carrier with all hands lost.

The control and prevention of oil pollution has long occupied the minds of international
maritime legislators. The chapter of major oil tanker casualties, starting with the
grounding of the Torrey Canyon in 1967, gave a very conspicuous public face to the
vagaries of shipping and the tragedy of what can happen when things go wrong. Less
conspicuous was the continuing appalling loss of non-tanker merchant ships, particularly
bulk carriers, which remain one of he prime causes of concern of the shipping industry to
this day.

While oil pollution casualties may well have highlighted sub-standard shipping as a

green issue, the continuing loss of seaman’s life is the whole nub of the issue and the
catalyst that has given strength to the arms of the ILO, IMO and the ITF in coordinating
international reaction.

Suffice to state that collectively, as will be pointed out below, the international
conventions provide the framework for port state control inspections, and without them,
and the considerable labours that precede their conclusions, port state control would have
little direction as it would have teeth.

What has the maritime community done about it?
As has been alluded to above, the ILO and the ITF have played significant roles in
applying pressure upon maritime states to apply relevant safety conventions and regimes.
The CMI (a French abbreviation but in English the organization is referred to as
International Maritime Committee) has also played its part in addressing salvage and
safety issues. But it is upon the IMO that the responsibility for the drawing up and
implementation of safety standards became focused.

In addition to the promotion of international conventions, the IMO passes its own
Assembly resolutions, which in turn bind the member States of the IMO. It is these
resolutions therefore, which coupled with the international conventions, impose
obligations on port state to exercise the controls envisaged by the resolutions.

The IMO has recently consolidated its port state control measures. The consolidated
resolution and its annexure set out the procedures for port state control in chapter and
verse. Inspections are categorised as initial port state inspections and then more detailed
inspections. Guidelines are provided for detention and reporting procedures.

Not only do the IMO provisions require surveys and inspections to ensure that vessels
comply with the appropriate international conventions, they also now make it possible for
port state control officers inspecting foreign ships to check operational requirements
'when there are clear grounds for believing that the master or crew are not familiar with
essential ship board procedures relating to the safety of ships'. It should also be noted that
the IMO plays an active role as observer in the activities of the regional port state control
co-operation groupings referred to below.

Shipping is an international industry which is proud of its tradition of freedom of the
seas, but that does not mean that ships can sail wherever they like regardless of their
condition. The maritime world has the right to expect that ships of all nations meet the
levels of safety and environmental protection, which have been traditionally agreed upon.
It is up to ship owners to make sure that their ships are safe, properly manned and do not
pollute the seas and it is the duty of governments to make sure that ships flying their flag
comply with the standards laid down in the IMO treaties which they have ratified. If they
fail to do so, then IMO –which has the stewardship of these standards – has not only the
right but also the obligation to take further action.

How has the law provided the tools for the job?
To do the job, the coastal authorities need to rely upon two tools: their o\\-n "domestic"
law, and international law.
Domestic laws consist of statutes passed by parliament (and regulations promulgated
under the authority of those statutes) and the country's common law - comprising mainly
decisions of the courts and the writings of jurists.
But all states need also to rely upon a perhaps more significant body of law to come to
grips with the problem of the sub-standard ship - the International Law of the Sea.

The first recognition was given to PSC by Article 25 of UNCLOS, which empowered
states to take necessary steps to prevent the breach of conditions by vessels calling at any
port. This provided the framework upon which the subsequent conventions and
resolutions of the IMO could hang. Important to our present discussion is Resolution
A.596 (15), which pointed out that ‘the great majority of maritime accidents are due to
human error and fallibility and that the safety of ships will be greatly enhanced by the
establishment of improved working practice’.

In 1995 Resolution A.742 (18) gave content to this by allowing a port state control
inspector, who had "clear grounds" for believing that the operational condition of any
ship did not meet with the stipulations of Convention. To check on-board procedures.
Central to this was an enquiry into whether key crewmembers could communicate
adequately with one another and if the officers in charge of the navigational watch were
familiar with bridge control and navigational equipment. Thus, in these Resolutions, we
see the beginning of a focus on the human element, which departed from the previously
restricted ambit of port state control inspection that involved checking certificates and
documents only.
The legal basis for port state control of human factors is further galvanised by the ISM
Code Regulations. These Regulations apply to passenger ships, oil and chemical tankers,
bulk carriers, gas carriers and cargo high-speed craft of 500 gross tonnage and above and
to other cargo ships and mobile off shore drilling units of 500 gross tons. They outline a
system of verifications in -the form of a Document of Compliance and a Safety
Management Certificate, which must be re-validated after differential time periods as
specified in the Regulations. The code has been described as "the last chance for the
shipping industry to put its house in order, a license to operate ships, a stout cord that will
finally lasso the cowboys". It has a focus on the management system of the ship, which
includes the control of human factors.

More broad ranging authority is given to the port state authorities by the STCW. This
Convention was revised in 1995 due to a growing awareness of human factors in
shipping casualties. The resultant STCW -95 has a focus on ensuring globally
implemented minimum standards for maritime training and control of seafarers'
competency. The need for such uniformity has been stressed by the 1MO, and thus the
STCW-95 will become an important focus when addressing the problem of regulating

the human factor. Although full compliance with the revised STCW-95 is only required
by I February 2002, its content is still vital to our present discussion.

Thus the adoption of the ISM Code and STCW-95 suggest that the legislation is indeed
broad enough to encompass the control of human factors through port state control.
As has been mentioned, the STCW-95 saddles primary responsibility with the flag state.
Regulation 1/4 goes on to prescribe the boundaries of port state intervention. The
subordinate position of the port state is highlighted by the fact that subsection 1 of these
regulations limits the port state control to the inspection of the "appropriate certificate or
a valid dispensation". However, subsection 3 of the same Regulation demonstrates the
recognition that the port state must be given a certain degree of flexibility in order to be
able to act as an effective safety net. Thus, the subsection allows for an assessment
where "there are clear grounds for believing that such standards are not being

Again, several prescribed categories lay out where such ‘clear grounds’ exist so as to
delineate the boundaries of intervention. Again, these boundaries are blurred by the
catch-call stipulation that intervention is allowed whenever the “ship is otherwise being
operated in such a manner as to pose a danger to persons, property or environment”.
It is these broad categories, which provide the ‘legal loop-hole’ for port state regulation
of human factors in the appropriate circumstances. This must be interpreted also to
include safety drills to demonstrate effective crew coordination and communication when
there are grounds to believe that ineffectiveness in this relation have been the cause of
dangerous operation.

The Port State Control of Human Error

The relevant question becomes how these more interactive measures can be most
effectively implemented within a state. It will be argued that this is best achieved
through port state control, which "confers the power to board, inspect and where
appropriate, detain a merchant ship". This form of regulation has come to the fore in the
past 10 years. However, it must not be seen in isolation, but rather within the context of
two other forms of regulation which are charged with the maintenance of safety of ships
at sea, but which have proved to be ineffective in establishing comprehensive control.

The first of these is flag state control, which covers the "international and domestic
powers and obligations of a state which allows vessels to register under its flag". An
example of such an international power appropriate to our present discussion is the
International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for
Seafarers (STCW). This Convention gives the flag state the primary responsibility for
exercising control, through legislation and penalties, so as to ensure that the provisions
of the Convention are complied with. Practically, this involves the issuing of a certificate
indicating that the provisions of the Convention have been complied with. Without these
certificates, worldwide trade would be near impossible.

This protection offered by the Flag State is, however, unable to provide sufficient
regulation. This is particularly true within the field of human error where an
interventionist approach to regulation is required. The problem is that it is not feasible
for the Flag State to employ a global inspectorate to ensure continued compliance with
standards across the globe. The local classification and non-exclusive marine surveyors
who are contracted out by the Flag State can only achieve a limited degree of regulation.
They work under continuous pressure from the ship owners, often in dangerous
conditions. In certain cases, unscrupulous registers that issue certificates to ships that are
clearly un-seaworthy exacerbate this lack of effectiveness. These problems are
addressed by PSC, which provides regulation that is more independent and which has
the infrastructure needed for any interactive control.

Similarly, the regulation offered by coastal state control is not broad enough to
encompass the control of human error. Such control gives to the state certain limited
powers under international law to protect its interest along that coastline. Because the
interference with ships on the high seas is particularly dangerous and inconvenient,
intervention is limited to those cases where the ship is involved in ‘non-innocent
passage’. This is defined as the passage that is “prejudicial to the peace, good order, or
security of the coastal state”. The regulation of human error can clearly not be effectively
implemented within the limited scope of this power.

The question then becomes whether port state control can cure the deficiencies of both
flag and coastal state control.

Regional initiatives - the Memoranda of Understanding

Crucial to the success of port state control operations is the sharing of information
gained about particular ships or their owners and operators, between jurisdictions in and
out of which those ships trade. This for two reasons: first, one would not like unduly to
inconvenience ships by inspecting them at each and every port; and second, to give
forewarning to maritime states of the delinquents in their midst. The establishment of
regional initiatives in which states are tied together in their port state control activities
by memoranda of understanding ("MoD's"), are becoming increasingly significant and
will no doubt one day encompass most of the world's oceans and ports. With the ease .of
dissemination of information through the internet, it is" also likely to become the norm
that the various regional initiatives, set up for geographic convenience, will increasingly
share each other's databases, thereby closing the net even more effectively on the un-
seaworthy ship and its unscrupulous owner seeking to ply a trade into unsuspecting

The first and perhaps most prominent of the regional groupings is the Paris
Memorandum of Understanding which was signed in 1982.

The groundwork was laid for effective international co-operation. The key to the Paris
MOU (and indeed to others and to port state control itself) is a requirement that each
contracting state will ensure through an effective system of port state control, that foreign
merchant ships calling in its ports, comply with the international instruments listed in the MOU.

The MOU requires each contracting authority, within three years, to inspect an annual
total of 25% of foreign merchant ships calling at its ports. And each authority will
'consult, co-operate and exchange information' with other authorities'. Authorities should
"seek to avoid inspecting ships which have been inspected by any of the other authorities
within the previous six months unless they have clear grounds for inspection."

The 1982 Paris MOU required that PSC would be conducted ‘without discrimination as
to flag’. It also required that each state will ensure that no more favourable treatment is
given to ships flying the flag of a state not party to the MOU. As will be seen below, PSC
has matured to the stage where it now recognizes the need to accept the stark reality that
some ships pose more of a problem than others. Most MOU now allow (indeed require)
discrimination upon the basis of flag, age, type of vessel, loan owner or operator or even
known classification society.

The Paris memorandum sets out detailed guidelines as to inspection procedures and
detention. The prime purpose of detention is to ensure rectification of defects in the
vessel. In the case of deficiencies, which are clearly hazardous to safety, health or the
environment, the Authority will ensure that the hazard is removed before the ship is
allowed to proceed to sea.

For this purpose, appropriate action may be taken which may include detention or
stopping the ship from continuing an operation by reason of established deficiencies.
Which, individually or together, would render the continued operation hazardous"
Exceptions are allowed where a ship needs to proceed to a repair port. To prevent an
errant ship owner from running a detention, the MOU stipulates that such ships will be
refused access to any port within other party states, until the owner or operator has
provided evidence of rectification of the defects.

One of the most important and effective provisions of the Paris MOD is the obligation
imposed. Upon each authority to publish quarterly information about detentions under
PSC procedures. This information is required not only to contain the name of the ship.
But also the name of her owner and operator, her flag state and her classification society"
The reasons for the detention are then given".

Initially port states were reluctant to publish detention information, particularly where
owners were identified. They feared a rash of damages suits by irate ship-owners. Indeed
there have been a number of protests at the content of detention publications. But
publication has in the past three years become the norm. Let the brokers of the world
know what ships have been detained and why. Let the world's insurers know who the
miscreants are. Let the consumer, passenger or cargo shipper, know who the delinquents
are and let them avoid using substandard ships as an effective means of ridding the
oceans of their scourge. So comfortable have the port state authorities become with the
publication of detention lists that you will now find them regularly in Lloyds List (UK,
Australia, Canada arid the US, on a monthly basis) and even on the Internet. Indeed the
Internet is likely to be a very valuable co-ordinating tool in the administration of port
state control procedures in the future. It is the easiest way to access detention databases
and will certainly become the prime means of publication of detained ships in the future.

Following the lead (and largely also the letter) of the Paris MOU came the Tokyo MOU
for the Asian-Pacific Region 1993. The Tokyo MOU is up-and-running although many of
the participating states have yet to establish effective port state control facilities and

The Vina del Mar MOU, 1992, covers the Latin American maritime authorities. This
MOU recognizes the objectives of a further regional maritime cooperation scheme and
then again repeats, largely to the letter, the provisions of the Paris MOU.

The most recent PSC system is that set up in the Caribbean on 9
February 1996 in terms
of practically identical to the Paris MOU. The UK is expected to sign the MOU on behalf
of its independent territories in the Caribbean and the MOU takes effect upon signature of
each participating country.
Other regional initiatives are on the way: the Mediterranean region has already had
preparatory meetings, and there are discussions for West and Central African and Persian
Gulf region, piloted largely by the Iranian Maritime Administration, for a further
initiative for an Indian Ocean rim. Clearly, the success of these regional MOU is
interdependence upon the efforts of each other.

Port state control internationally has come of age. With its roots founded in necessity
bred of successive maritime casualties, it has come into its own as the most effective
means of ridding the world's ports and oceans of sub-standard, un-seaworthy and
dangerous ships. This is not to say that international pressure on" flag states, owners and
classification societies to do their jobs properly and responsibly should be in any way
relaxed - but the reality remains that there are good and bad ship owners. There are good
and bad classification societies. And there are good and bad ship registers. Let the
international message of port state control be loud and clear - bad ships, bad owners, bad
flag states and bad classification societies are pariahs for which there should be no place
in the shipping industry of the future.

Annex to Chapter 12 (PSC)

Synopsis of findings from Routine Surveys, Inspections, and Audits

Statutory Certificates, Overdue Surveys

Surveyors, auditors and inspectors routinely review a vessel’s documentation
(certificates) to verify that they have been endorsed for all required surveys during the
intervals mandated by the various conventions or class requirements. Surveys must be
completed within the required survey interval for the statutory documents to remain

Cargo Ship Safety Radio Surveys

Common findings recorded in this category relate to main radiotelegraph transmission
and reception equipment. In some cases, the power output of transmitters has been found
to be below an acceptable level, causing a reduction in the range of transmissions. Faults
observed in receiving equipment include unsatisfactory reception. Typical examples of
other findings in this category are deteriorated aerials; broken aerial insulators;
improperly rigged aerials for very high frequency equipment; inoperable automatic
alarms; defective speakers; and faulty power sources.

Cargo Ship Handling Equipment and Surveys

1. Lifesaving Appliances

Properly functioning lifesaving appliances are key elements of ship safety. Routine crew
examinations and proper maintenance can identify or remedy potential problems, such as
structural defects in lifeboats, inoperative lifeboat engines or flemming gear, missing or
inoperative lights on lifebuoys and lifejackets, excessively worn lifting hooks in lifeboats,
missing retro-reflective tape from equipment, badly corroded engine mounts in lifeboats,
missing safety equipment from lifeboats, unsatisfactory “float-free” arrangement on life
rafts and inoperative lifeboat launching systems.

2. Fire fighting Equipment

It is of utmost importance that the fire fighting equipment be properly examined,
maintained and ready for immediate use at all times. Unfortunately, there are many fire
fighting findings (related to the detection, extinction or risk of fire) observed during
surveys and audits including: missing or holed fire hoses; missing fire hose nozzles:
defective breathing apparatus; excessive oil accumulation in machinery spaces bilges
broke!! Fire detectors; missing, poorly maintained or uncharged fire extinguishers; holed
or soft patched fire mains; missing or broken fire station cabinet handles and hinges,
wrenches and hydrant hand wheels; unmarked, broken or inoperative fire dampers;
unprepared fire and emergency crews; valves and fittings related to IGS in disrepair; C0

cylinder room being used for storage; paints stored in machinery spaces instead of in a
dedicated paint locker; heavy accumulation of grease in galley exhaust ventilation trunk;

seized machinery space skylights; frozen or holed funnel dampers; engine room

3. Navigation Equipment

During surveys and audits, the types of findings include out-of-date, uncorrected or
missing charts for the intended voyages; inaccurately calibrated magnetic compasses;
faulty radio direction finders, echo depth sounders, radar's, gyro repeaters, and navigation
lights; outdated Tide Tables, List of Lights and Sailing Directions, etc.; and copies of
regulations (e.g., SOLAS, MARPOL, ITU etc.) not on board.

Cargo Ship Safety Construction Surveys

The following findings deal mainly with steering gear and mooring arrangement
requirements. Other findings, which relate to structural items, are discussed under class
surveys, hull (below) – steering control malfunctioning; officers not knowledgeable
about emergency steering procedures; communications in emergency steering room not
working; anchor chains, windlasses, wire ropes and mooring lines in a deteriorated
physical condition and potentially dangerous; defective guards on winches and
windlasses; and missing anchors and chain.

Housekeeping and Fire Safety, Documentation, Manning, Accommodations

1. Manning
The STCW Convention requires that ships have properly trained and qualified crews.
These elements of manning are important because the safety of a ship, its crews,
passengers and cargo and the protection of the marine environment depend to a large
extent on the training, experience and competence of the crew. The majority of findings
in this category relate' to the minimum international standards for certificates issued
under the STCW Convention. Each flag State is responsible for establishing the
appropriate levels of the manning aboard ships under its jurisdiction and for issuing each
ship with safety-manning certificate. Findings in each category include navigational
watches stood by uncertified officers, incorrectly endorsed officers' certificates for the
ship they are serving aboard (e.g. oil tankers, gas carriers and chemical tankers), key
officers not in attendance and manning exceeding the numbers listed on the Cargo Ship
Safety Equipment Certificate.

2. Documentation

Statutory certificates are issued to ships in accordance with the various international
conventions. Surveyors, auditors and inspectors have found findings related to a vessel's
certificates including expired certificates, overdue annual or intermediate surveys, and
improperly issued or missing certificates after a vessel has changed flag from one State to

3. Accommodations, Provisions and Working Spaces

Examples of findings pertaining to the crew accommodations include: infestation by
cockroaches; blocked drains; dirty hospitals and bathrooms; leaking toilet piping;
missing shower nozzles and controls; broken or inoperable sinks and toilets; crew
members living in hospital spaces; doors to accommodations not closing adequately; and
broken light fixtures and switches, As far as provisions are concerned, the findings
usually relate to poor standards of cleanliness. Other findings included in this category
are deteriorated insulation in galleys that poses a potential health hazard; ineffective or
inoperative refrigeration machinery for cooling storerooms; and insufficient food for the
intended voyage. Finally, as far as working spaces are concerned, findings include lack
of adequate lighting and ventilation as well as defective or missing guards to protect the
operator from the moving parts of machinery.

MARPOL Surveys

Careful attention should be paid to pollution prevention measures on board, as well as
maintaining accurate records for the handling of oil and other pollutants. Penalties can be
severe for an owner and any irresponsible crewmember if a vessel fails to comply with
the regulations. Findings noted during surveys and audits include – missing oil record
keeping book or entries not up to date; poorly maintained, mis-operating or inoperative
equipment for separating oil from water including oil-content monitoring devices; sludge
tank connected directly overboard; and missing or un-posted pollution placard.

Load Line Surveys

Surveyors have recorded. Findings where ventilators, air pipes, watertight doors and
hatchways had deteriorated sufficiently to warrant repairs. These findings could have
been avoided by adequate maintenance performed prior to surveyor attendance. Other
findings in this category include: cargo hatch cover securing devices missing or
inoperable; sounding pipe caps missing; air pipes holed; securing devices on weather
tight and watertight doors missing; holed cargo hatch covers; non-sealing weather tight
doors; corroded manhole covers; and unsafe rails at the side of the ship. Other findings
associated with the Load Line Convention are discussed under classification surveys, hull

Classification Surveys

1. Hull
The findings include damage and deterioration of the hull, including items such as
distorted bulbous bow plating and side shell plating deformations; damaged gangways,
accommodation ladders, exposed walkways/platforms, and pilot ladders; corroded cable
trays and trunks; faulty closing appliances; seriously wasted, holed, cracked or fractured
side frames, transverse deck beams, deck plating, and watertight bulkheads in the chain
locker, forecastle storage space, and engine room; holed vent pipes/closure heads; holed
or damaged hatches; weather tight doors not sealing; overdue special hull surveys; and
corroded access ladders to cargo holds or tanks.

2. Machinery

Surveys that have identified poorly maintained engine rooms list findings such as
excessive oil in bilges and throughout the engine room. Other findings in this category
include inoperable remote controls on boiler safety valves; defective fuel-oil valves on
main and auxiliary engines; improperly adjusted steering gear; accumulation of water
leaking on auxiliary' engines; frozen or inoperable sea water inlet valves; defective
generators; defective and leaky fuel-oil pumps and poorly maintained air compressors
(resulting in the shortage of starting air for the main engine); leaky or wasted hydraulic
lines servicing deck machinery and cargo hatches; and leaky engine exhaust piping.

3. Cargo gear

Findings noted during surveys have included – absence of identification marks on hooks,
blocks, and shackles and other small items of equipment; unavailable documentation
attesting to examinations and testing certification; excessively corroded winch bed plates;
and winch drums and brakes posing a danger and requiring repairs.

Chapter 13: Principles and practice of

ISM Code

Chapter 13 - Principles and Practice of International Safety Management (ISM)


Understanding a little of the history behind the ISM Code will help focus attention on the
“human element” issues and lead to the realisation that the ISM Code is a loss prevention
or accident prevention tool addressing the “software” problem – the people problem –
rather than the hardware. The significance of this is that the SMS
of the ISM Code can
only function if it has been fully implemented and is being run by people. If the SMS is
not implemented and working, then the insurance implications will be very serious
indeed, with the ship owner possibly facing claims he cannot defend, losing his right to
limit his financial liability, losing his insurance cover and quite probably finding that the
ship and his company have been blacklisted, such that he cannot trade his ship. In
extreme cases, the ship owner may find himself exposed to criminal liability.

1996: Sea Empress major oil pollution of Milford Haven, UK.


During the second half of 1980s and early 1990s, there seemed to be an explosion of
maritime accidents and claims. Some of which were:

1987: Herald of Free Enterprise capsized off Zeebrugge. Extensive loss of life

1987: Dona Paz ferry collided with tanker in the Philippines – estimated 4386 people
1989: Exxon Valdez ran aground off the coast of Alaska spilling 38,000 tonnes of oil
causing extensive environmental damage. Final claims level exceeding US $ 5 billion

1990: Scandinavian Star disaster. Extensive loss of life.

1991: Agip Abruzzo with 80000 tonnes light crude on board in collision with RO-RO
ferry Moby Prince off Livorno, Italy. Fire, pollution and 143 people died.

1991: Salem Express Egyptian ferry struck reef and sank. 470 people killed.

1992: Agean Sea broke in two off La Coruna, Spain. Extensive pollution. Claims to the
tune of US$ 200 million.

1993: Braer driven to into Shetland Islands – widespread pollution. Claims in the region
of US$ 200 million.
1994: Estonia RO-RO passenger ferry sank after bow door fell off during heavy weather
at sea. Extensive loss of life.

SMS – Safety Management System

During the aforementioned period P & I insurance claims, and consequently the cost of P
& I insurance, rose on an average by 200 percent
. It is understood that a similar
phenomenon was experienced with Hull and Machinery claims and premium. Various
inquiries were held to ascertain as to what might be behind the problem.

The stated objectives of the Code are initially set out in the first paragraph of the
Preamble to the Code
, which provides:

Cause – human error
A common factor that appeared in each inquiry report was basically that these accidents
were primarily arising out of human failings. On reflection, this does not come as a
surprise. While statistical data are not available, human error or human factor, or
whatever title one wishes to give the phenomenon, have been responsible for most
maritime accidents throughout history. So, the human factor figure for maritime accidents
is probably 100 percent. Just how close you come to 100 percent would depend upon
where the investigator / researcher stopped in tracing the particular casual chain for any
particular accident. The problem needed to be tackled and, the problem to be tackled was
a human problem. The solution for this problem was therefore enabling and or, enhancing
the management systems through the entire process of ship operation.

Objectives of the Code

“The purpose of this Code is to provide an international standard for the safe
management and operation of ships and for pollution prevention”.

The initial statement is expanded and the objectives are set out in full in Section 1.2 of
the Code:
1.2 Objectives

1.2.1 the objectives of the Code are to ensure safety at sea, prevention of human injury or
loss of life, and avoidance of damage to the environment, in particular to the marine
environment and to property.

1.2.2 Safety-management objectives of the Company should, inter alia:

.1 provide for safe practices in ship operation and a safe working environment
.2 establish safeguards against all identifiable risks
.3 continuously improve safety management skills of personnel ashore and on board
ships, including preparing for emergencies related both to safety and environment
1.2.3 The safety management system should ensure:

Philip Anderson, “ISM Code”
International Safety Management Code

.1 Compliance with the mandatory rules and regulations
.2 that applicable Codes, guidelines and standards recommended by the organisation
(IMO), Administration, classification societies and maritime industry
organisations are taken into account.

A change of perspective on rules and regulations

The points raised by an INTERTANKO document clearly points out the factors that led
to the objectives of the Code being formulated. In one of the paragraphs, the document

“…the Code was produced in response to potential pressure, following a number of high
profile incidents, for the shipping industry to clean up its act, the perception being that
the existing rules and regulations were not in themselves sufficient to ensure a real
diminution in the number of shipping casualties – in particular it was felt there was a
need to reduce the scope of human error by imposing and industry standard of good

The ISM Code is concerned with procedures whereby the safety and pollution prevention
aspects of a ship are managed, both ashore and on board, rather than laying down specific
rules on the technical condition of the ship itself.

There are of course various sets of rules, regulations and conventions dealing with the
technical issues, which a ship owner will need to comply with. The Code does not
necessarily introduce any new set of rules and regulations, but rather provides a
requirement that the SMS should be structured, such that it can check and verify
compliance with all the various rulers and regulations. A misunderstanding, which seems
frequently to arise in the minds of many people, is to think that the ISM Code has
suddenly become an all-encompassing, all-embracing piece of legislation, incorporating
all the various existing sets of rules and legislation. The Code does not incorporate them
at all, although it is a breach of the regulations that principally gives rise to exposure to
legal and insurance liabilities. What the ISM Code does is to make a requirement that the
SMS will provide procedures by which a company can check that it does comply with the
various rules and procedures to check and verify that they continue to comply. Another
important point to understand and remember is that these procedures must be documented
and recorded.

An interesting observation in this regard is made by George P. Pamborides

“…in general, the Code introduces ‘transparency’ in shipping and something which will
shed light on the everyday operations of a ship, an area which up to now has remained
an exclusive privilege of the ship owner. This is now bound to change, giving access to
such information to all other interested parties. It appears that this new system has the
potential of affecting the meaning of well-established concepts like ‘seaworthiness’, ‘due
diligence’, and matters related to the limitation f liability, as well as the issue of ‘privity’

George P. Pamborides, “The ISM Code: Potential Legal Implications”.

in insurance. It may further affect indirectly other areas, which lie entirely out of the
scope of the Code, like issues of general identification of ‘operators’.

Another interesting point is raised by Peter Martyr
, who observes:

If one need an explanation of why it has been considered necessary to look afresh at the
way maritime safety has been managed, which moved away from a regulatory framework
to one based on a “safety culture”, one would only need to reflect upon the appalling rate
of bulk carrier losses in the past years. For instance, during the period 1980 – 1997, there
were reportedly 167 bulk carriers lost and what is infinitely worse and unacceptable is
that 1352 lives were lost on those vessels

“…the Code is intended to be preventative and therefore the assumption must be that it
will prevent accidents. It is not intended to provide a vehicle for punishment, although
this may well be the initial effect…”

Safety and Environment Protection Policy

The ISM Code requires the company to provide, in clear and concise terms, a statement
describing what it aims and intentions are with regard to its SMS along with outline
details of how those aims and objectives are to be achieved. The significance and
importance of the Safety and Environment Protection Policy should not be
underestimated – for it may come under very close scrutiny if a major incident occurs.
The policy is basically a statement by the company to all its employers, whether ashore or
on board. It is very important that the statement on the policy really does voice the
intentions, aspirations and commitment of that particular company rather than some
eloquent prose of bought off-the-shelf SMS!
Implications for the company

From a practical point of view such a policy would be needed in order for the company to
have credibility with its personnel with regard to its commitment to safety and protection
of the environment. Furthermore, it should be anticipated that if an incident did arise
involving the company then the press and media would certainly scrutinise the policy
most carefully and use it to criticise, ridicule or condemn the company. Also, for different
but related reasons, the courts would also look very carefully at the policy statement as
well as the historical track record of the company in light of the policy statement.

Safety Management System (SMS)

It would not be an overstatement to claim that what the ISM Code is all about is the
development and implementation of a safety management system (SMS).

Peter Martyr, “ISM Code: Pollution – Lawyer”
Philip Anderson, “ISM Code”

The responsibility is upon the owning or operating company to develop, implement and
maintain not only a written but dynamic safety management system covering a whole
range of safety, environmental and related matters.

Implications of the functional requirements of SMS

The functional requirements as set out in the code are really just the main chapter
headings of the ISM Code – the named organs, as it were, of the SMS. They are not
intended to be an exhaustive list but rather represent the minimum requirements of an
acceptable SMS.

It is the structure, implementation and working of the SMS, which will be the real
deciding factor of whether or not a company is complying with the ISM Code. The entire
debate about the legal and insurance implications will pivot around the working of the

Quality assurance system vs. ISM Code

There is no doubt about it, the authors of the ISM Code were clearly following a
methodology which had been developing for many years in quality management systems.
Indeed much of the language and style are reminiscent of those found in, for instance, the
ISO Quality Assurance System. It has been suggested by some classification societies
that a ship owner who fully implements the ISM Code is probably more than 80 percent
compliant with ISO 9002. However, this does not mean that a ship owner or ship
manager who is an already accredited to ISO 9002 will be ISM Code compliant.
Some important differences

Whilst the two types of management systems may be very similar in some ways, and may
indeed compliment each other, there is a very important difference, which is not always
fully appreciated.

Quality assurance is a voluntary process, which shows that the audited company or body
performs to certain standards, which the body itself sets. If he fails to implement the QA
system in accordance with his own written procedures then he may very well find that the
consequences will be that the accrediting body will, if the non-compliance is serious
enough, withdraw the accreditation. There is very unlikely to be a legal or insurance
ramification. However, compliance with the ISM Code is quite different – it is a
mandatory requirement. If a ship owner fails to comply there may be serious legal and
insurance implications, since the ship owner would be in breach of the law of his flag
state and international law.


The government of the state whose flag the ship is entitled to fly – the “Administration” –
is responsible for verifying compliance with the requirements of the ISM Code and for
issuing the appropriate certificates.

Documents of Compliance (DOC)

The DOC will be issued by the Administration i. e. the flag state to the company. The
issue of DOC by the Administration will only be done once the Administration has
satisfied itself that the company has properly developed and implemented a safety
management system, which complies with the ISM Code. To achieve this, the company
must produce objective evidence to show that the SMS has been in operation for at least
three months on board at least one ship of each type operated by the company. The sort of
objective evidence required would include the documented procedures along with the
records of the internal audit performed by the company ashore and on board.

Once the Administration has satisfied itself that the requirements have been met then it
will issue a DOC for the types of ships on which the initial verification was based. If the
company requires additional types of ships to be covered by the DOC then they will need
to demonstrate their capability to comply with the ISM Code for those additional types of
ships – once the Administration is satisfied then it will extend the validity of the original

It is defined as

Lord Donaldson points out the whole idea of DOC

An important point to note is that only the issuing Administration may withdraw the
DOC. There is no power vested in the Port State Control to withdraw a DOC, or indeed
an SMC, of a foreign flagged vessel. However, one criterion for an Administration to
withdraw a DOC is if there is an evidence of a major non-conformity. Since the flag state
(the Administration) is only likely to be verifying compliance once a year, it is much
more likely that it will be Port State inspections, which will reveal major
non-conformities. It can be anticipated that the particular Port State will report major
non-conformities to the flag state. The flag state would then be obliged to act upon the

What is non-conformity?

“…an identifiable deviation which poses a serious threat to personnel or ship safety or a
serious risk to the environment and requires immediate corrective action; in addition, the
lack of effective and systematic implementation of a requirement of the ISM Code is also
considered as a major non-conformity…”.

“…each ship owner has personally to obtain a certificate called a Document of
Compliance’, certifying, in effect, that he is a fit and proper person to be a ship operator
in the light of the safety management policies which he has evolved and is enforcing in
relation to himself and each of his ships…”

Philip Anderson, “ISM Code”
Lord Donaldson of Lymington, “The ISM Code: The Road to Discovery”

Safety Management Certificates (SMC)

The SMC will be issued by the relevant Administration, i. e. the flag state – in respect of
each ship operated by the company flying its flag.

Before the SMC is issued there is an initial verification of compliance by way of an
external audit on board the particular ship. The initial verification at least includes the
following issues:

The company’s SMS has been functioning effectively on board that ship for at
least three months

If there is evidence of major non-conformity with the ISM Code
Presumably, with regard to the second point, it is assumed that immediate corrective
action has not been taken.
The role of the flag state administration
The Administration performs a number of crucial roles within the ISM, which have major
legal significance.
The DOC is appropriate for that ship type
The shipboard SMS, i. e. the procedures manuals, complies with the requirements
of the ISM Code
The shipboard SMS is implemented
Records of the company’s internal audits have been maintained.
The verifications are of course to check that the SMS is functioning effectively.

The SMC is valid for a period for five years
The validity of SMC is subject to at least one intermediate verification,
confirming the effective functioning of the SMS, and that any modifications
carried out since the previous verification comply with the requirements of the
ISM Code. In certain cases, particularly during the initial period of operation
under the SMS, the Administration may find it necessary to increase the
frequency of the intermediate verification. Additionally, the nature of non-
conformities may also provide a basis for increasing the frequency of intermediate

In a similar way to the DOC, the only body authorised to withdraw the SMC is the
issuing Administration itself.
There are two main reasons identified for which an Administration may withdraw an
If they have not received a request for an intermediate verification

First, it is the flag of the vessel, which determines the whole legal regime to which the
ship is subject. All the mandatory rules and regulations, Codes and guidelines which the
ship needs to comply and which the SMS needs to check compliance are those rules and
regulations which have been enacted by the government of the country of the flag of the
It is indeed the responsibility of the Administration to ensure that the company does
comply with the appropriate and relevant mandatory rules and regulations and does take
into account applicable Codes and Guidelines.
It is to the Administration that the owner must report the full name and details of the
entity responsible for the operation of the ship, if different from the owner.

Delegation of authority

While the Administration is the authority for verifying compliance and issuing the DOC
and SMC, it may delegate these functions, although not the responsibility.
The role of the classification societies
It appears that majority of the Administrations have delegated their classification and
verification functions to classification societies. Clearly, classification societies have
acted for flag states for many years in issuing certain statutory certificates.
Role of Port State Control (PSC)
Much of the success, or otherwise, of the ISM Code will depend upon how well the
system is policed by PSC. Indeed the whole industry appears to have taken it as a
foregone conclusion that PSC will be the policemen of the Code. It should be
remembered, however, that the intention is that the company – the personnel of the
companies, both ashore and on board – is primarily charged with ensuring compliance.
After all the SMS is its system – it is the one exposed to accident and claims; it is the one,
which will face the consequences. Following the company, though, the responsibility for
verifying that the SMS has not only been properly developed and implemented, but also
that it is properly functioning, rests with the Administration – the flag state.
There is no mention about this in the ISM Code, Chapter IX of SOLAS. Where, and how,
then do Port States fit into the picture? What powers do they have and how may they

The IACS member class societies are involved in the ISM certifications in a serious
manner. They have developed their own guidelines for IACS auditors undertaking
certification and a mandatory series of model training courses for auditors. They have
also developed an electronic database recording statistics on the progress of ISM Code

Where does the Port State Control fit in?

exercise their authority to check compliance with ISM and to impose sanctions against
those who do not comply. A brief explanation is given here.

PSC inspectors are officials representing the government of the country, which the ship is
visiting. International co-operation between PSC and consequently government in
different countries is effected through MOU.
In accordance with the provisions of SOLAS, Port State authorities can board and
conduct inspections of foreign vessels in their ports. The purpose of these inspections is
to identify deficiencies, if any, in vessels, which would render them non-compliant with
internationally, recognised safety standards and also to eliminate unfair competition.
Since ISM Code has been incorporated into Chapter IX of SOLAS, this will clearly bring
the operation of the ship’s SMS within the ambit of PSC. Clearly, the first thing the PSC
officer is going to request is sight of the copy of DOC and the ship’s SMC. The question
which obviously needs to be asked now is along the following lines: if the copy of DOC
and SMC appear to be in order, how much further can the PSC officer go to check the
ISM compliance?

Because the SMS is not a physical “thing” which the PSC officer can observe visually
and take a view on whether there is an indication of a serious deficiency. Certainly it is
relatively easy task for an inspector to look at the portable fire extinguishers and form a
view on whether they appear to be properly maintained and serviced. That they are clean,
accessible and carry a label stating when they were last tested and/or re-charged. If there
is something, which causes him concern, then he is likely to ask for one of the
extinguishers to be discharged.

Certainly one way to proceed further by the PSC officer in checking the SMS is to
observe, for example, a portable fire extinguisher which is perhaps dirty or has passed its
recharge/test date. The PSC officer may pick a member of the crew at random and ask
him to set off an extinguisher. The PSC officer may then ask to see the relevant
procedures manual and the particular procedure dealing with the inspection, care and
maintenance of the portable fire extinguishers and will then be on a paper audit trail to
establish whether those written procedures are being followed. This process should reveal
the records as well as, corrective actions taken to rectify the system in this regard
including the company’s verification. He may also see the planned maintenance
procedures relevant to the portable fire extinguishers. He may ask to see the
familiarisation and training procedures and ask to see those records for the present crew
to confirm that they have received familiarisation and training in the use of portable fire
extinguishers. If problems start to come to light while following the audit trails then
clearly the PSC officer is likely to expand his investigation into the functioning of the

Compliance is more than holding certificates

The existence of the DOC and SMC alone does not confirm compliance with ISM. The
working SMS itself needs to be examined in order to check compliance. This is well
explained by a true story that has been procured from the Internet.

The vessel was a medium sized bulk carrier and was loading a cargo on the west coast of
USA. An unescorted US coastguard officer appeared at the Captain’s cabin, introduced
himself and then asked the captain to take him to the bridge. On the bridge the discussion
went something like this:

USCG Officer: “Captain, we are going to have an emergency drill. You have a
(imaginary) fire in your forepeak store. Sound the emergency signal and muster the
emergency parties”.

Captain: “You have got to be joking! Half my crew are ashore and the others are busy
around the ship or working cargo”.

USCG Officer: “Captain, sound the emergency alarm signal”.

When the protests fell on deaf ears, the Captain reluctantly sounded the emergency alarm.

After many telephone calls to and from various members of the crew and after nearly 20
minutes an emergency party had been mustered and proceeded to the forward part of the
ship. The discussions on the bridge then continued.

USCG Officer: “Captain – that was disgraceful – tell your men to stand down – the drill
is over”.

Captain – (Stunned silence)

USCG Officer: “I will return in two days time and we will do the drill again”.

Captain: “I am sorry but I have nearly finished loading and the ship is sailing tomorrow”.

USCG Officer: “Captain, I will return in two days time and we will do the drill again.
You have a nice day now”.

The ship was detained.

With which the USCG Officer took his leave and true to his word, returned two days
later, in the meantime the crew had been exercised in various emergency drills and, when
the USCG Officer asked for the emergency signal to be sounded, everything went like
clockwork. The USCG Officer congratulated the Captain and crew and wished them a
pleasant and safe voyage.

As a consequence of that incident all the ships in the management fleet were reminded to
ensure that in port they did need to maintain their ability to respond to an emergency in
just the same way as if they were at sea, an account needed to be taken of manning levels
and the state of readiness.

The important point is that it may be relatively cheap both in respect of time and money
to have a portable fire extinguisher recharged or to have the crew practice an emergency
drill exercise – there may not be a “quick fix” solution when it comes to considering a
serious deficiency in the SMS.

Designated Person (DP)

The role and function of the Designated Person is quite new for most companies within
the international shipping industry. The implication and role of the designated person
may, potentially, have a most significant impact and effect upon the legal position of the
ship owner or manager when questions of actual fault and privity are considered.

The clear intention has been to create an identifiable contact point between the senior
levels of the shore management and the ship. However, in the past the marine
superintendent accomplished this role. But, with various changes within the shipping
industry in the past 20 to 30 years, this in some cases had a diminishing role with the
result of creating a void leading to a breakdown of communications indicating the level
of relationship between the shore and the ship. So, what is the role of designated person?

First, it is clearly anticipated that within any company there can be more than one
designated person. The actual role of the designated person seems to be threefold:

1. A conduit between the company ashore and the specific ship on all matters
relevant to the SMS
2. An independent individual with direct access to the highest levels of management
3. An over-seer – verifying and checking that the SMS is functioning adequately

It is not intended that the DP should be directly involved in the implementation of the
SMS – such tasks would rest with those on board the ship in conjunction with the
relevant superintendents or safety manager. It is also significant to note that the DP does
not have to be one of the “highest levels of management”. Indeed there is no specific
requirement for the DP to be a member of the company’s management at all, although it
is suggested that this would usually be the case.

When analysing the role of the DP, it is important to look at the wording in the ISM
Code. The requirement is that the DP must have “direct access” to the highest levels of
management. It does not say that the DP must actually “report” to the highest levels of
management. The idea therefore is to have that direct access to report or to gather support
of the highest levels of management if it is found that certain line managers or
superintendents or masters were failing in their responsibilities and duties to implement
and maintain the SMS. The responsibility and authority of the DP therefore includes:

Monitoring the safety and pollution prevention aspects of the operation of each
Ensuring that needed resources and shore-based support are applied as required

Within the context of these two guidelines the DP also has responsibility:

For organising safety audits
For monitoring that corrective action has been taken

A common sense understanding therefore delineates that the combined functions of the
DP is the overall management of SMS, including the provision of required resources to
enable the SMS to be managed effectively.

The Master

Apart from the roles and responsibilities of the Master that we all are aware of, the ISM
Code imposes even more duties and responsibilities on the Master:

Implementing the safety and environment protection policy of the Company
Motivating the crew in the observation of that policy
Issuing orders and instructions in a clear and simple manner
Verifying that specified requirements are observed
Reviewing the SMS and reporting its deficiencies to the shore based management

One important aspect to understand is that the Master still remains in command and the
requirements of the ISM Code do not override that position. The Master holds one of the
most important roles within the SMS of the ISM Code. Unless the Master can motivate
his officers and crew to actually implement the SMS and allow it to function as it was
intended, then the whole project will be nothing more that a few thousand words on
pieces of paper in procedures manuals – but there will be no SMS.

What a Master is required to do is to have a good contemporaneous documented evidence
of a fully functional SMS that will include details all reports of accidents,
non-conformities and hazardous occurrences, details of safety meetings on board, training
and familiarisation on board and communications with the DP.

The legal status of the Code

The ISM Code was drafted and prepared as a self-contained document. However, the
bringing into force of its provisions was achieved on an international basis through its
incorporation into the SOLAS Convention. Therefore, its compliance became mandatory
under new Chapter IX to the SOLAS Convention. So, all the States party to SOLAS have
had to give it shape by incorporating it into their domestic legislation.

Countries, which have not ratified the SOLAS Convention

Somewhere in the region of 98 percent of the world’s merchant fleet by tonnage flies the
flag of signatories to the SOLAS Convention. This is a high figure although, but it also
brings to light the fact that there are 2 percent of countries that are not party to SOLAS
and therefore vessels flying their flag are not required to comply with the requirements of
the ISM Code. Now, many of such ships may be very small and involved only in
domestic trade of such a State. This is obviously irrelevant to the present discussion as it
is of concern only to their domestic laws.

The point comes what if such a vessel is required to make an international voyage and
wishes to visit a port of a country, which is a member of IMO that has ratified SOLAS
and has incorporated the ISM Code into its domestic legislation?
The answer to this question will be dependent upon the following two parameters:

1. The way the ISM Code has been incorporated into the domestic legislation and,
2. The attitude of the PSC officer

It should however be noted that if a vessels enters a port where it is required by local laws
the compliance of the ISM Code, then it is an unlawful act. Since it is not required by the
vessel’s flag state what the vessel can do is approach one of the organisations to which
many of the other Administrations have delegated the function of verifying compliance
and issuing certificates on their behalf, such as one of the classification society that is a
member of IACS. It may be possible that they could issue ISM “equivalent” certificates,
which may be sufficient to satisfy the PSC officer that the vessel involved does have an
SMS in place, which meets the standards required by the ISM Code.

Practical aspects of the Code

Resources and personnel – ISM Requirements

The ISM Code and the successful implementation of the SMS are very much involved
with people – particularly the Master, officers and crew on board the ship. Considerable
responsibility is placed on the company to ensure that correct people, in sufficient
numbers, are recruited. It is now the responsibility of the company to ensure that the
master, officers and crew it employs are not only properly certified but also competent in
accordance with the requirements of the STCW Convention. It is also important for the
company to maintain records that it has actually followed the requirements of its
recruitment policy.

Written procedures will need to be in place not only in the personnel department of the
company office ashore but also in the office of any manning agencies that may be used.
This may not be new for many companies. But what has changed because of ISM Code is
that if a seaman’s competence has to be questioned – say after an incident – then the
company will have to prove its adherence to a recruitment policy. This has become all the
more relevant today because of the recruitment of seafarers from non-traditional maritime

countries. A company should therefore have the following procedures with respect to
recruitment and manning in context of the SMS:

The trade in which the ship is engaged and the workload on the crew
The skills required by the crew for the safe execution of the tasks they are
expected to perform
The awareness of the crew with respect to their SMS duties
The availability of records of qualification and medical fitness

Training and familiarisation
The above should include video familiarisation packages whether ashore or on board
regarding the vessel’s SMS

A company will now have to consider methods of training and familiarisation when
determining ways to ensure that new personnel transferred to new assignments are made
aware of their responsibilities under SMS. The following is a suggestive list to bring
home the point to the student:

Give information of company’s SMS and the ship’s details to the seafarer prior to
joining the ship
Provide for familiarisation once the seafarer is on board regarding the equipment
and SMS
Have the seafarer answer a questionnaire once his familiarisation is complete on
board after arrival

Development of plans for key shipboard operations

The idea here is to introduce proactive measures, which the company must establish to
prevent accidents through prior planning and to make preparations in order to deal
effectively with a major incident if one did occur. A Suggested subject matter for
operations documentation is delineated below. The list is not exhaustive and will
normally be varied to take into account the circumstances of a particular ship:

- Shipboard organisation
- Functional responsibilities
- Reporting procedures
- Communications between ship and the company
- Inspections by master and senior officers
- Provisions and maintenance of documents and records
- Fitness of duty and avoidance of excessive fatigue

- Medical arrangements
- Alcohol and other drug policies
- Checklist for seaworthiness and cargo worthiness

The ship in port

- Accepting cargo
- Loading and discharging procedures, including those related to dangerous goods
- Harbour watches and patrols
- Liaison with shore authorities
- Monitoring trim and stability
- Procedures when the ship is temporarily immobilised
- Use of reception facilities for oil, NLS or garbage

- Accidental spillage of cargo or bunkers
- Response to pollution incidents
Preparing for sea

- Stability condition and checking for draughts
- Assessment of weather conditions
- Control testing
- Verification of up to date charts and publications

- Securing of cargo and openings in the hull
- Documentation of sailing conditions
- Verification of the functioning of pollution prevention equipment
The ship at sea

- Bridge and engine watch-keeping arrangements
- Special requirements in bad weather and fog
- Radio communication check
- Emergency procedures at sea
- Fire patrols and security patrols
- Provisions for discharge into the sea of dirty ballast etc.

Preparing for arrival in port

- Control testing
- Port information and communications
- Pilotage information
- Assessment of weather conditions
- Sailing directions, tide tables and charts
- Ballast conditions
- Stability and watertight integrity

Emergency preparedness

The other proactive requirement on the company under the code arises under Section 8 of
the Code, which is aimed at the anticipation of a risk and the subsequent risk assessment
exercise to identify potential emergency situations that may arise. Thereafter how such an
emergency would be dealt with should they arise.

The company is required to establish procedures to identify, describe and respond to
potential emergency shipboard situations and establish programmes for drills and
exercises to prepare for emergency actions. The SMS should provide for measures
ensuring that the company’s as well as, the ship’s organisation can respond at any time to
hazards, accidents and emergency situations.

The real problems will arise when a shipping company does not properly develop the
relevant ship specific plans for shipboard operations. This may happen for a number of
reasons, for instance, the ship owner / manager has bought an off-the-shelf, readymade
set of procedures manuals or, the procedures manuals have been developed without
consulting those on board who will be expected to implement procedures. In other words,
a non-ship person has developed it!

It may look good to begin with, but a time will come when such a lacunae will be


Reporting and analysing accidents, non-conformities and hazardous occurrences form the
backbone of the SMS within a company. The reporting loop includes reports on “learning
from experience”. This is only possible when there is a reporting feedback loop. This
would usually be by means of a written response:

Confirm as adequate and appropriate the immediate corrective action taken on
board following the incident
Be a formal amendment to an existing SMS procedures or instructions
Require the development and implementation of new SMS procedures
Involve the dissemination and distribution of the lessons to be learnt throughout
the company

Changes to documents are reviewed and approved by authorised personnel
The SMS of the ISM Code is a document-based system. It emulates many of the practices
and methods that were developed during the last half-century in quality assurance type
systems. This includes a formal system of document control. The following points need
to be noted:
Valid documents are available at all relevant locations
Obsolete documents are promptly removed
The documents used to describe and implement the SMS can be referred to as the
Safety Management Manual

The ISM approach to maintenance

Prior to the ISM Code, ship owners could probably be divided into two distinct categories
with regard to the maintenance of ship and its equipment:

First there were those who adopted an approach, which can be summed up as, “if it ain’t
broke don’t fix it!” This could be termed as the breakdown policy!

The second approach could be described as the planned maintenance policy. This is the
preventive approach such that the equipment will be overhauled or changed, if required,
before it broke down.

It is quite probable that the introduction of the planned maintenance schemes has been the
single biggest expense of the ISM implementation. This is also an area that can be, in
times of poor charter markets, where corners can be cut. However, it is also an area
where a lacuna is easiest to detect. PSC will always target this system and over a period
of time be able rid the industry of cutting corners in this area. Therefore, the planned
maintenance system also is an important component of the SMS on board.

Implications of not having an adequate maintenance system in place

The maintenance of the ship and equipment is an ideal target for a PSC inspector to audit.
In addition, there could be potential problems with third party or external auditors, e.g.
inspectors from the Administration. To put it in a nutshell, the implications can be:

Basic non-compliance with the ISM Code (Chapter IX of SOLAS) with the risk
of losing the DOC and SMC
Failure to be able to demonstrate due diligence to make the vessel seaworthy
Possible loss of rights to limit financial liability
Possible loss of insurance cover
Case study

The Marion is a very interesting case when considering the potential relevance of ISM
related issues from a number of perspectives, although there are two, which stand out

The necessity to have procedures in place to check that what should be done is
actually being done
The necessity for important information relating to safety issues on board to be
referred to senior management ashore

The incident itself occurred more than 20 years before any ISM compliance dates were
on the horizon. However, the case seemed to anticipate much of what was to develop by
way of the philosophy behind the ISM Code.
What happened on the Marion that led to a claim in excess of US$ 25 million?

On March 14, 1977 the Liberian registered tanker, Marion, came to anchor in a position
about 2.7 miles of the Heugh which was about one mile from the Tees Fairway buoy off
Hartpool in the UK. On 18 March Marion attempted to weigh her anchor. She was unable

to do so because her anchor had fouled an oil pipeline, which ran submarine. The pipeline
was severely damaged by Marion’s anchor. The owners of the pipeline and other
companies who contended that they had suffered loss by reason of the damage to the
pipeline claimed damages in excess of US$ 25 million.

The managers of the Marion had admitted that the damage to the pipeline had been
caused partly by the negligence of their servant, the Master. The Master had anchored
close to the pipeline although he was unaware of its existence because he was navigating
with a chart that was very seriously out-of-date and uncorrected. The up-to-date chart had
the presence of the pipeline. Such a chart was in fact in the chartroom but he decided to
use the old chart.

The owners, on accepting the fault of their servant, the Master, wanted to limit their
liability to about US$ 1 million. The issue to be discussed by the court was that whether
the fault occurred without the actual fault of the ship managers. If that was the case they
could limit their liability, otherwise they were liable to pay US$ 25 million.

The management team of Marion ashore comprised of a managing director, an operations
manager, an assistant operations manager and engineer superintendent. The management
team was experienced and well qualified but only the managing director was in the frame
as far as the question of fault and privity is concerned. The Master too was very
experienced and an old hand with the company. The company had arrangements for
up-to-date charts to be provided as well as, notices to mariners on a regular basis. It was
basically the eccentricity of the Master that he had great affection to use old charts rather
than new ones!

What had also happened was that the practice of use of old and uncorrected charts was
pointed by the flag state inspection in its report. The report was sent to the Company.
When the report arrived, the managing director was out of country. However, the
operations manager and the assistant manager did read the report and informed the
Master to change the practice of using old charts and ensure that the charts are up to date
and corrected henceforth. What they did not do was to inform the managing director on
his return. In fact the Liberian inspector’s report was lying among his many papers and he
came to know about the report only when the incident occurred and the claim was made
against the company.

The court picked up a number of points:

The master did not acknowledge the receipt of the letter from the operations
manager and no follow up action was taken
The court was critical that regardless of what the procedures might be, ship
managers did not have procedures in place to check that the master was indeed
following the correct procedures. It was felt by the court that the activities of the
Master, or the lack of it, should have been checked by the company.

The Liberian safety inspector’s report had been left on the managing director’s
table. The court was also particularly critical of the managing director for not
having procedures in place whereby his line managers would bring such
important matters to his attention. The court therefore concluded that it was
indeed the managing director’s own fault that he was not told about the report and
consequently constituted that the incident occurred by the actual fault of the

Now, the ISM angle to this incident

The line of reasoning on part of the court suggests of what might be expected of the
Designated Person, or what the courts might expect of the “most senior levels of
management”, when considering what the DP should be reporting to them and ensure that
it is actually conveyed. Those “most senior members of the management” must make it
very clear indeed, not only to the DP, but also to other members of their management
team, that they need to be told of any adverse reports coming in that might have an
adverse effect on the safety of the ship. For, failing to do so they will be condemned by
the court of law for not having procedures in place and held responsible for such fault and
thereby losing their right to limit their financial liability and also the insurance cover.

The use, maintenance and correction of navigational charts should be subject to internal
audits by personnel external to the bridge (internal audits of the company). With a
properly functioning SMS the bad practices of the Master would have been picked up at
an early stage, by one or the other means, the situation should have been remedied.

At the end of the day, the ship managers of Marion were unable to limit their liability and
therefore ended up paying in excess of US$ 25 million. This is because, in a nutshell:

They did not have procedures in place for the most senior levels of management
to be advised of major safety issues relating to their vessels

They did not have procedures in place to verify, review and evaluate safety
related activities on board their vessels

Clearly, post ISM Code implementation, a properly implemented and functioning
SMS will fully protect the owners in these types of situations.


It could certainly be suggested that having a SMS in place and, more importantly,
functional in line with ISM Code requirements the damage can be picked up at an early
stage (as shown in the case study above) and remedial action taken long before it can be
converted into an incident and a possibility of loss of cover for the owner or the operator.
A properly implemented and functioning SMS not only adds to the safety on board and
contributes towards the protection of the marine environment but it also fully protects the

Chapter 14 - Additional Topics –

ILO Conventions: ILO 147, ILO 185


Ballast Water Management

CLC / FUND / HNS Conventions

London Convention


The basis of formulation of ILO Conventions

What is the role of international labour standards (ILS)?

One of the key functions of the International Labour Organization from its inception has
been the establishment of international standards on labour and social matters. These
international labour standards take the form of Conventions and Recommendations.

In addition to the ILO Conventions and Recommendations dealing with occupational
safety and health matters, further guidance is provided in Codes of Practice and manuals,
which are used as reference material by those in charge of formulating detailed
regulations or responsible for occupational safety and health.

What are the benefits of ILS?

The challenges of globalization have made international labour standards more relevant
than ever. And when one talks about globalisation, one is all too well aware of its
implication in shipping activities. Today, the international labour standards have far more
relevance in shipping today than the years gone by due to the growing presence of
multicultural crews on board. What benefits do they provide today?
A path to decent work

International labour standards are first and foremost about the development of people as
human beings. In the ILO Declaration of Philadelphia of 1944, the international
community recognized that "labour is not a commodity". Indeed, labour is not like an
apple or a television set, an inanimate product that can be negotiated for the highest profit
or the lowest price. Work is part of everyone's daily life and is crucial to a person's
dignity, well-being and development as a human being. In short, economic development
is not undertaken for its own sake but to improve the lives of human beings; international
labour standards are there to ensure that it remains focused on improving human life and

A level playing field

An international legal framework on social standards ensures a level playing field in the
global economy. It helps governments and employers to avoid the temptation of lowering
labour standards in the belief that this could give them a greater comparative advantage in
international trade. In the long run such practices do not benefit anyone. Lowering labour
standards can encourage the spread of low-wage, low-skill, and high-turnover industries
and prevent a country from developing more stable high-skilled employment, while at the
same time making it more difficult for trading partners to develop their economies
upwards. Because international labour standards are minimum standards adopted by
governments and the social partners, it is in everyone's interest to see these rules applied
across the board.

A means of improving economic performance

International labour standards are sometimes perceived as entailing significant costs and
thus hindering economic development. A growing body of research indicates, however,
that compliance with international labour standards often accompanies improvements in
productivity and economic performance. Higher wage and working time standards and
respect for equality can translate into better and more satisfied workers and lower
turnover of staff. Investment in vocational training can result in a better-trained
workforce and higher employment levels. Safety standards can reduce costly accidents
and health care fees.

The sum of international experience and knowledge
International labour standards are the result of discussions among governments,
employers and workers, in consultation with experts from around the world. They
represent the international consensus on how a particular labour problem could be tackled
at the global level and reflect knowledge and experience from all corners of the world.
The standards' legal character allows them to be used in the legal system and
administration at the national level, and as part of the corpus of international law which
can bring about greater integration of the international community.

Conventions and Recommendations
Conventions are comparable to multilateral international treaties: they are open to
ratification by member States and, once ratified, create specific, binding obligations. A
State that has ratified a Convention is expected to apply its provisions by legislation or by
other appropriate means as indicated in the text of the Convention. The Government is
required to report regularly on the application of ratified Conventions; the extent of
compliance is subject to examination and public comment by ILO machinery; complaints
about alleged non-compliance may be made by the governments of other ratifying States
or by employers' or workers' organizations and procedures exist for investigating and
acting upon such complaints. Conventions that have not been ratified have the same value
as Recommendations.

Recommendations are intended to offer guidelines for action by member States. Often, a
particular Recommendation will elaborate upon the provisions of a Convention on the
same subject. Member States have certain important procedural obligations in respect of
Recommendations - namely, to submit the texts to their legislative bodies, to report on
the action resulting and to report occasionally at the request of the Governing Body on
the measures taken or envisaged to give effect to the provisions. But no specific
substantive obligations are entailed.
International labour standards evolve from a growing international concern that action
needs to be taken on a particular issue, for example providing seafarers with identity

How ILS is created?

documents, or ensuring safe working conditions for seafarers on board. Developing
international labour standards at the ILO is a unique legislative process involving
representatives of governments, workers and employers from around the world. As a first
step, the Governing Body agrees to put an issue on the agenda of a future International
Labour Conference. The International Labour Office prepares a report that analyses the
laws and practices of member states with regard to the issue at stake. The report is
circulated to member states and to workers' and employers' organizations for comments
and is discussed at the International Labour Conference. A second report is then prepared
by the Office with a draft instrument for comments and submitted for discussion at the
following Conference, where the draft is amended as necessary and proposed for
adoption. This "double discussion" gives Conference participants sufficient time to
examine the draft instrument and make comments on it. A two-thirds majority of votes is
required for a standard to be adopted.

ILO member states are required to submit any convention adopted at the International
Labour Conference to their national competent authority for the enactment of relevant
legislation or other action, including ratification. An adopted convention normally comes
into force 12 months after being ratified by two member states. Ratification is a formal

procedure whereby a state accepts the convention as a legally binding instrument. Once it
has ratified a convention, a country is subject to the ILO regular supervisory system
responsible for ensuring that the convention is applied. Reservations to ILO conventions,
however, are not permitted.
How ILS is used?

Models and targets for labour law

International labour standards are primarily tools for governments, which, in consultation
with employers and workers, are seeking to draft and implement labour law and social
policy in conformity with internationally accepted standards. For many states this process
begins with a decision to consider ratifying an ILO convention. Countries often go
through a period of examining and, if necessary, revising their legislation and policies in
order to achieve compliance with the instrument they wish to ratify. International labour
standards thus serve as targets for harmonizing national law and practice in a particular
field, for instance the maritime field. Some countries decide not to ratify a convention but
bring their legislation into line with it anyway; such countries use ILO standards as
models for drafting their law and policy. Still others ratify ILO conventions fairly quickly
and then work to bring their national law and practice into line.
Representative employers' and workers' organizations play an essential role in the
international labour standards system: they participate in choosing subjects for new ILO
standards and in drafting the texts; their votes can determine whether or not the

The role of employers' and workers' organizations

International Labour Conference adopts a newly drafted standard. If a convention is
adopted, employers and workers can encourage a government to ratify it. If the
convention is ratified, governments are required to periodically report to the ILO on how
they are applying it in law and practice. The role of flag States thus is very important
because it is they who are responsible to ensure the application of labour standards on
ships flying their flag. Government reports must also be submitted to employers' and
workers' organizations, which may comment on them. Employers and workers'
organizations can also supply relevant information directly to the ILO.
International labour standards are backed by a supervisory system that is unique at the
international level and that helps to ensure that countries implement the conventions they
ratify. The ILO regularly examines the application of standards in member states and
points out areas where they could be better applied. If there are any problems in the
application of standards, the ILO seeks to assist countries through social dialogue and
technical assistance.
International labour standards are universal instruments adopted by the international
community and reflecting common values and principles on work-related issues while
member States can choose whether or not to ratify any conventions, the ILO considers it
important to keep track of developments in all countries, whether or not they have ratified
them. Under article 19 of the ILO Constitution, member States are required to report at
regular intervals, at the request of the Governing Body, on measures they have taken to
give effect to any provision of certain conventions or recommendations, and to indicate
any obstacles, which have prevented or delayed the ratification of a particular convention.
One would now appreciate that the flag State is duty bound to inform ILO on the extent
to which the ILO labour standards have been applied on its vessels.

The Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards) Convention,

Applying and promoting ILS

Applying conventions when countries have not ratified them

1976 (ILO 147)
What is ILO 147?
India is a Party to the Convention and ratified the same on 26 September 1996


The Convention (ILO 147) covers Minimum Standards in Merchant Ships and was
adopted at the 62nd session of the International Labour Conference on 13 October 1976,
under the auspices of the International Labour Organization (ILO). It entered into force

The Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 147) (and its
Protocol of 1996), supplemented by Recommendation No. 155, constitute the central
statement by the International Labour Conference of what may be regarded as the
minimum internationally acceptable labour standards in merchant ships
internationally on 28 November 1981.

ILO 147 addresses three basic areas:

(1) Safety standards including standards of competency, hours of work and manning

(2) Appropriate social security measures, and

(3) Shipboard conditions of employment and shipboard living arrangements

ILO 147 serves as an "umbrella" convention for 15 other ILO conventions
listed in the
appendix to ILO 147.

(2) Ships engaged in fishing or similar pursuits, including fish processing vessels of not
more than 5000 GT and fish tender vessels of not more than 500 GT;
(4) Vessels such as oilrigs and drilling platforms when not engaged in navigation.

Article 1 of ILO 147 contains the applicability of the convention. The national ratification
of ILO 147, by any country, would include understandings regarding this applicability.
As a result of the understandings, ILO 147 applies to every seagoing vessel of a flag state
and every foreign vessel operating in its waters, whether publicly or privately owned,
which is engaged in the transport of cargo or passengers for the purpose of trade or is
employed for any other commercial purpose, except:
(1) Ships primarily propelled by sail, whether or not they are fitted with auxiliary

(3) Un-inspected vessels including tugboats of less than 300 GT; and

ILO 147 is recognized as expressing the commitment of the international community to
eliminate the operation of substandard ships. It aims to improve the efficiency and safety
of navigation, enhance measures to protect the marine environment and advance
seafarers' interests in the fields of health and safety, working conditions and trade union

1. Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138), or
2. Minimum Age (Sea) Convention (Revised), 1936 (No. 58), or
3. Minimum Age (Sea) Convention, 1920 (No. 7)
4. Ship-owners' Liability (Sick and Injured Seamen) Convention, 1936 (No. 55), or
5. Sickness Insurance (Sea) Convention, 1936 (No. 56), or
6. Medical Care and Sickness Benefits Convention, 1969 (No. 130)
7. Medical Examination (Seafarers) Convention, 1946 (No. 73)
8. Prevention of Accidents (Seafarers) Convention, 1970 (No. 134)(Articles 4 and 7)
9. Accommodation of Crews Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 92)
10. Food and Catering (Ships' Crews) Convention, 1946 (No. 68) (Article 5)
11. Officers' Competency Certificates Convention, 1936 (No. 53) (Articles 3 and 4)
(Note: In cases where the established licensing system or certification structure of a State would be prejudiced by problems
arising from strict adherence to the relevant standards of the Officers' Competency Certificates Convention, 1936, the
principle of substantial equivalence shall be applied so that there will be no conflict with that State's established
arrangements for certification.)
12. Seamen's Articles of Agreement Convention, 1926 (No. 22)
13. Repatriation of Seamen Convention, 1926 (No. 23)
14. Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87)
15. Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98)

ILO 147 an Role of Flag States

ILO 147 requires the flag State to adopt minimum standards relating to safety, social
security, and shipboard conditions of employment and living arrangements to be
observed in merchant shipping registered under any flag, and refer to a number of other
ILO Conventions in its appendix. These Conventions cover minimum age, medical
examination, articles of agreement, officers' competency certificates, food and catering
on board ship, crew accommodation, prevention of occupational accidents, sickness or
injury benefits, repatriation, freedom of association, the protection of the right to
organize, and collective bargaining. Moreover, ILO 147 specifically refers to standards of
hours of work and manning to ensure the safety of life aboard ships. A significant and
innovative feature of this Convention is the incorporation in its text of reference to the
Vocational Training (Seafarers) Recommendation, 1970 (No. 137) requiring that due
attention be given to ensure that seafarers are properly trained and qualified the duties
they are to perform.

The substantive obligations on States which are parties to ILO 147 are set out in article 2,
which requires that ratifying States have laws or regulations laying down, for ships
registered in their territory provisions which are "substantially equivalent" to those of the
Conventions or articles of Conventions referred to in the Appendix to ILO 147, in so far
as such States are not otherwise bound to give effect to the Conventions in question by
virtue of having ratified them. In other words, if a State is already a party to any of the
Conventions listed in the Appendix, it must fully apply the terms of those Conventions.
Some of the provisions on shipboard conditions of employment and living arrangements
may be covered by collective agreements or laid down by competent courts in a manner
equally binding on ship-owners and seafarers.

ILO 147 requires ratifying States to ensure that the competent authorities exercise
effective jurisdiction or control over ships, which are registered in their territory as

• Safety standards, including standards of competency, hours of work and manning,
prescribed by national laws or regulations
• Social security measures prescribed by national laws or regulations; and
• Shipboard conditions of employment and shipboard living arrangements
prescribed by national laws or regulations, or laid down by competent courts in a
manner equally binding on ship-owners and seafarers.

In addition, the competent administrative authority must be satisfied that measures for the
effective control of other shipboard conditions of employment and living arrangements,
where it has no effective jurisdiction, are agreed between the organizations of ship-
owners and of seafarers.

Under ILO 147, a ratifying flag State further undertakes to ensure that adequate
procedures exist for the engagement of seafarers on ships registered in its territory and for
the investigation of complaints arising in that connection, and for the investigation of any
complaint made in connection with the engagement in its territory of seafarers of its own

nationality on ships registered in a foreign country. It also undertakes to ensure that any
complaint made in connection with the engagement in its territory of foreign seafarers on
ships registered in a foreign country is reported to the competent authority of the country
in which the ship is registered.

Moreover, ratifying flag States must ensure that the competent authority verifies, by
inspection or other appropriate means, that nationally registered ships comply with
national laws and regulations which apply the standards prescribed by the Convention,
other applicable international labour conventions in force which they have ratified, and,
as appropriate under national law, applicable collective agreements.

Application of ILO 147

Implicit in this Convention is the desire to bring about international compliance with its
general scope and intent through the impetus of PSC. Recent international developments
indicate this desire is being realized. For example, the PSC Committee to the Paris MOU
adopted amendments, effective on February 5, 1992, which made the substantive
provisions of ILO 147 applicable to Paris MOU members. Also, the Asia-Pacific
Agreement on PSC, signed in Tokyo on December 2, 1993, included ILO 147 as one of
its relevant instruments.

The port State control provisions of ILO 147 (Article 4) provide that a ratifying State
may, on the basis of a complaint or evidence that a ship does not conform to the standards
of the Convention, inspect any foreign ship calling at its ports, regardless of whether the
flag State has ratified ILO 147. This is an innovation because, prior to the adoption of
Under generally recognized principles of international law, parties to a treaty are required
to carry out the duties and obligations specified by the terms of that treaty. By depositing
its instrument of ratification, the flag state acknowledges certain international duties and
responsibilities under ILO 147. For example, by virtue of its own existing national laws
and regulations, a flag state can satisfy the requirements of Article 2. They can have
established safety standards, social security measures, shipboard conditions of
employment and living arrangements, and inspection procedures for its registered vessels
which are “substantially equivalent" to the Conventions listed in the Appendix to ILO
ILO 147 and Port State Control (PSC)
ILO 147, international rules had almost solely been concerned with the condition of
vessels in relation to any threat they might pose to safety and the external environment.
Earlier, the Port States refrained from intervening in the internal affairs of ships, such as
crew conditions, except as regards safety. The adoption of ILO 147 in 1976 has widened
the scope of international shipping regulations. An inspection may be made by the port
State whenever it obtains evidence that a ship does not conform to the standards of the
Convention or when it receives a complaint from a member of the crew, or any other
person or entity concerned with the safety of the ship and the well-being of its crew. On
the basis of such evidence or complaint, the port State may prepare a report addressed to
the Government of the flag State, with a copy to the Director-General of the International

rty states may be the subject
Labour Office. In addition, the port State can take action, including detention, to rectify
any conditions on board which are clearly hazardous to safety or health, even if the ship
is registered in a country, which is not bound by the Convention. In taking such action,
the ratifying port State must notify the nearest maritime, consular or diplomatic
representative of the flag State and must, if possible, have such a representative present.
It must not unreasonably detain or delay the ship.

To bring home the point, let us further take the case of USA. While Article 4 prescribes
port state control, intervention under this treaty can only take place using existing U.S.
laws. The local laws of USA allows the Captain of the Port (COTP) to detain a vessel if it
is not in compliance with an applicable treaty, provided the vessel poses a serious threat
to the port. This authority may be used to detain any vessel registered by flag
administrations, which are also party to ILO 147. The general goals of ILO 147 may be
used as a reference to measure the threat to the port. The local laws may also be used to
detain vessels of non-party states as long as the deficiencies are serious enough to pose a
threat to navigation, vessel safety, and the e ent. It is however important to note
that vessels registered to non-pa of port state control, but not
by the standards of ILO 147.
The PSC inspector will investigate complaints and associated evidence of deficiencies
relating to:
(a) Minimum age requirements;
(c) Accident prevention and occupational safety and health;
(e) Hospital space;
(g) Minimum manning standards and certification. (Considering relevant Port State
Guidance relating to SOLAS and STCW.)

(a) Seaman’s' articles of agreement;
(e) Protection of the right to organize; and,

(b) Medical examinations of the crew;
(d) Crew accommodations;
(f) Food and catering; and,
(2) The following types of deficiencies should be forwarded to the DOL for appropriate
(b) Liability for sick or injured seamen;
(c) Repatriation of seamen;
(d) Freedom of association
(f) Collective bargaining.
The following control action applies to vessels whose flag administrations are party to
ILO 147:

When conditions, which are clearly hazardous to safety or health, are discovered,
and for which no other applicable international maritime safety treaty (i.e.,
SOLAS, MARPOL, etc.) establishes a regulatory requirement, the PSC inspector

will normally be authorized to intervene using the in order to rectify those

As such, interventions for shipboard conditions, which are “clearly hazardous to
safety or health”, must also be related to navigation, vessel safety, and the
protection of the marine environment, that is, related to the goals of the PSC
inspections. The PSC Directorate is supposed to notify the nearest maritime,
consular, or diplomatic representative of the vessel's flag state of the intervention
and should try to have a consular or diplomatic representative of the flag state

Conditions, which are not clearly hazardous to safety or health, but nevertheless
constitute non-compliance with the standards of the Convention, shall be brought
to the attention of the vessel's master for correction. Control action will not be
authorized in this case.
The following control action applies to vessels whose flag administrations are not party
to ILO 147:

The juxtaposition of ILO 147 and relevant recommendations ensures that the standards of
the former are not regarded as anything more than minimum ones. The "substantially
equivalent" approach of ILO147 involves an additional element of flexibility, as it is not
regarded as essential to meet the standards of the Conventions listed in the Appendix, in
all respects. The ILO Committee of Experts has laid particular emphasis here on the
criteria of safety and health; and on the need for adequate social security measures to be
applied to seafarers working on nationally registered ships. By contrast, the role of the
recommendations is a promotional one, as it calls for measures going beyond the
minimum to reach standards "at least equivalent" to those contained in the appendix to
When conditions which are clearly hazardous to safety or health are discovered, and for
which no other applicable international maritime safety treaty (i.e. SOLAS, MARPOL,
etc.) establishes a regulatory requirement, and such conditions can reasonably be
construed as imperilling the safety of the port, the PSC inspector may take control action
to rectify the condition under the authority of the local law governing PSC inspections.
Detention orders on non-party flag vessels which do not comply with the safety or health
matters addressed in ILO 147 shall be reported to the PSC Directorate and the question of
detention will be left at its discretion.

ILO 185 – Seafarers Identity Document

In June 2003, the ILO adopted the Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention (Revised),
2003 (Convention No. 185). The revision of the earlier Convention of 1958 was
prompted by discussions held in the International Maritime Organization (IMO)
reviewing measures and procedures to prevent acts of terrorism that threaten the security
of passengers and crews and the safety of ships. ILO Convention No. 185, which came
into force on February 9, 2005, is a binding international treaty for all Members that
ratify it. India is a party to the Convention.

• Seafarers shall have the right to an administrative appeal in the case of a rejection
of their application
What will be the content and form of SID?
ILO 185 will set international standards for seafarer identification documents (SID) that
will provide reliable, positively verifiable and internationally acceptable identification.
ILO-185 also codifies mariners’ rights to shore leave and requires member countries to
accept SID as substitutes for visas for the purposes of shore leave.
The standards for SID enumerated in ILO 185 satisfy the technical requirements of
security and visa requirements of a number of countries (e.g. machine-readable, tamper-
proof, digital photograph, biometric indicator) and should therefore be acceptable by the
immigration authorities, of such countries, as a substitute for a visa or the basis for a visa
waiver. Crewmembers not in possession of a SID would have to obtain a visa to apply for
shore leave in certain countries, for instance, in the United States.
In order to successfully implement ILO Convention No. 185, SID issued in each ratifying
State must be able to be used for verifying a seafarer’s identity in every other State to
which that seafarer travels in the course of his or her duties.
What form will the issuance of seafarers' identity documents take?

• Each Member for which this Convention is in force shall issue to each of its
nationals who is a seafarer and makes an application to that effect a seafarers'
identity document conforming to the provisions of the Convention
• Unless otherwise provided for in this Convention, the issuance of seafarers'
identity documents may be subject to the same conditions as those prescribed by
national laws and regulations for the issuance of travel documents
• Each Member may also issue seafarers' identity documents to seafarers who have
been granted the status of permanent resident in its territory
• Each Member shall ensure that seafarers' identity documents are issued without
undue delay

The seafarers' identity document covered by this Convention shall conform as follows:

• The seafarers' identity document, whose shall consist of good-quality materials
which, as far as practicable, having regard to considerations such as cost, are not
easily accessible to the general public. The document shall have no more space
than is necessary to contain the information provided for by the Convention.

• It shall contain the name of the issuing State and the following statement:

"This document is a seafarers' identity document for the purpose
of the Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention (Revised), 2003,
of the International Labour Organization. This document is a
stand-alone document and not a passport."

• The data page(s) of the document shall be protected by a laminate or overlay, or
by applying an imaging technology and substrate material that provide an
equivalent resistance to substitution of the portrait and other biographical data
• Other security features shall include at least one of the following features:

Watermarks, ultraviolet security features, use of special inks,
special colour designs, perforated images, holograms, laser
engraving, micro-printing, and heat-sealed lamination

• Data to be entered on the data page(s) of the seafarers' identity document shall be
restricted to:
Issuing authority
Telephone number(s), email and web site of the authority
Date and place of issue

• Digital or original photograph of seafarer

• Full name of seafarer: where applicable, family name shall be written first,
followed by the seafarer's other name
• Sex
• Date and place of birth: the date shall be written in two-digit Arabic numerals in
the form day/month/year; the place shall be written in the same way as on the
national passport;
• Statement of nationality
• Special physical characteristics: any evident characteristics assisting identification
• Signature of seafarer
• Date of expiry: in two-digit Arabic numerals in the form day/month/year
• Type or designation of document: character code for document type, written in
capitals in the Roman alphabet
• Unique document number: country code followed by an alphanumeric book
inventory number of no more than nine characters
• Personal identification number: optional personal identification number of the
seafarer; identification number of no more than 14 alphanumeric characters

• Biometric template: precise specification to be developed
• Machine-readable zone
• Official seal or stamp of the issuing authority

Issuing authority

• ISO code for the issuing State and the name and full address of the office issuing
the seafarers' identity document as well as the name and position of the person
authorizing the issue
• The telephone number, email and web site shall correspond to the links to the
focal point referred to in the Convention
• Date and place of issue: the date shall be written in two-digit Arabic numerals in
the form day/month/year - e.g. 31/12/03; the place shall be written in the same
way as on the national passport

Explanation of data

• The captions on fields on the data page(s) above may be translated into the
language(s) of the issuing State. If the national language is other than English,
French or Spanish, the captions shall also be entered in one of these languages
• The Roman alphabet should be used for all entries in this document

• The form of the document and the materials used in it shall be consistent with the
general specifications set out in the model, which shall be based on the criteria set
out below. The seafarers' identity document shall be designed in a simple manner,
be made of durable material, with special regard to conditions at sea and be
machine-readable. The materials used shall:

(a) Prevent tampering with the document or falsification, as far
as possible, and enable easy detection of alterations; and
(b) Be generally accessible to governments at the lowest cost
consistent with reliably achieving the purpose set out in (a)

• Members shall take into account any available guidelines developed by the
International Labour Organization on standards of the technology to be used
which will facilitate the use of a common international standard
• The seafarers' identity document shall be no larger than a normal passport
• The seafarers' identity document shall contain the name of the issuing authority,
indications enabling rapid contact with that authority, the date and place of issue
of the document.
• The maximum validity of a seafarers' identity document shall be determined in
accordance with the laws and regulations of the issuing State and shall in no case
exceed ten years, subject to renewal after the first five years

• A template or other representation of a biometric of the holder which meets the
specification provided for shall also be required for inclusion in the seafarers'
identity document, provided that the following preconditions are satisfied:

(a) The biometric can be captured without any invasion of privacy of the
persons concerned, discomfort to them, and risk to their health or offence
against their dignity;
(b) The biometric shall itself be visible on the document and it shall not be
possible to reconstitute it from the template or other representation;
(c) The equipment needed for the provision and verification of the biometric is
user-friendly and is generally accessible to governments at low cost;
(d) the equipment for the verification of the biometric can be conveniently and
reliably operated in ports and in other places, including on board ship, where
verification of identity is normally carried out by the competent authorities;
(e) The system in which the biometric is to be used (including the equipment,
technologies and procedures for use) provides results that are uniform and
reliable for the authentication of identity.

• All data concerning the seafarer that are recorded on the document shall be
visible. Seafarers shall have convenient access to machines enabling them to
inspect any data concerning them that is not eye-readable. Such access shall be
provided by or on behalf of the issuing authority.
What is the requirement for a national electronic database regarding SID?
– Date of expiry or suspension or withdrawal of the identity document

• Each Member shall ensure that a record of each seafarer’s identity document
issued, suspended or withdrawn by it is stored in an electronic database. The
necessary measures shall be taken to secure the database from interference or
unauthorized access. The details to be provided for each record in the electronic
database to be maintained by each Member shall be restricted to:

– Issuing authority named on the identity document
– Full name of seafarer as written on the identity document
– Unique document number of the identity document
– Biometric template appearing on the identity document
– Photograph
– Details of all inquiries made concerning the seafarers' identity document
• The information contained in the record shall be restricted to details which are
essential for the purposes of verifying a seafarers' identity document or the status
of a seafarer and which are consistent with the seafarer's right to privacy and
which meet all applicable data protection requirements

• Each Member shall put in place procedures which will enable any seafarer to
whom it has issued a seafarers' identity document to examine and check the
validity of all the data held or stored in the electronic database which relate to that
individual and to provide for correction if necessary, at no cost to the seafarer

• Each Member shall designate a permanent focal point for responding to inquiries,
from the immigration or other competent authorities of all Members of the
Organization, concerning the authenticity and validity of the seafarers' identity
document issued by its authority. Details of the permanent focal point shall be
communicated to the International Labour Office, and the Office shall maintain a
list which shall be communicated to all Members of the Organization

• The details mentioned above shall at all times be immediately accessible to the
immigration or other competent authorities in member States of the Organization,
either electronically or through the focal point
• For the purposes of this Convention, appropriate restrictions shall be established
to ensure that no data - in particular, photographs - are exchanged, unless a
mechanism is in place to ensure that applicable data protection and privacy
standards are adhered to
• Members shall ensure that the personal data on the electronic database shall not
be used for any purpose other than verification of the seafarers' identity document
What will be the quality control and what type of evaluations undertaken?
• Processes and procedures are in place to ensure the necessary security through the
quality control of procedures and periodic evaluations, including the monitoring
of processes, to ensure that required performance standards are met, for:

(i) Production and delivery of blank SID
(ii) Custody, handling and accountability for blank, voided and personalized
(iii) Processing of applications, completion of blank SID into personalized
SID by the authority and unit responsible for issuance and delivery,
(iv) Operation, security and maintenance of the database.
(b) Periodic reviews are carried out to ensure the reliability of the issuance
system and of the procedures and their conformity with the requirements of
this Convention.
(c) Procedures are in place to protect the confidentiality of information
contained in reports on periodic evaluations provided by other ratifying

Processing of applications; suspension or withdrawal of SID; appeal procedures

• The issuing authority should ensure that all officials with responsibility
concerning the review of applications for SID have received relevant training in
fraud detection and in the use of computer technology

• The issuing authority should draw up rules ensuring that SID are issued only on
the basis of: an application completed and signed by the seafarer concerned; proof
of identity; proof of nationality or permanent residence; and proof that the
applicant is a seafarer

• The application form should require applicants to note that they will be liable to
prosecution and penal sanctions if they make any statement that they know to be

• When a SID is first applied for, and whenever subsequently considered necessary
on the occasion of a renewal:

– The application, completed except for the signature, should be presented
by the applicant in person, to an official designated by the issuing
– A digital or original photograph and the biometric of the applicant should
be taken under the control of the designated official
– The application should be signed in the presence of the designated official
– The application should then be transmitted by the designated official
directly to the issuing authority for processing.

• Adequate measures should be adopted by the issuing authority to ensure the
security and the confidentiality of the digital or original photograph and the

• The proof of identity provided by the applicant should be in accordance with the
laws and practice of the issuing State. It may consist of a recent photograph of the
applicant, certified as being a true likeness of him or her by the ship owner or
shipmaster or other employer of the applicant or the director of the applicant's
training establishment.

• The proof of nationality or permanent residence will normally consist of the
applicant's passport or certificate of admission as a permanent resident.

• Applicants should be asked to declare all other nationalities that they may possess
and affirm that they have not been issued with and have not applied for a SID
from any other Member.

• The applicant should not be issued with a SID for so long as he or she possesses
another SID.

• All applications should be subject to at least the following verifications by a
competent official of the issuing authority of SID:

– Verification that the application is complete and shows no inconsistency
raising doubts as to the truth of the statements made;
– Verification that the details given and the signature correspond to those on
the applicant's passport or other reliable document;
– verification, with the passport authority or other competent authority, of
the genuineness of the passport or other document produced; where there
is reason to doubt the genuineness of the passport, the original should be
sent to the authority concerned; otherwise, a copy of the relevant pages
may be sent;
– Comparison of the photograph provided, where appropriate, with the
digital photograph

• Once fully checked, the application, accompanied by the supporting documents
and the notes for the record, should be forwarded to the official responsible for
completion of the SID to be issued to the applicant

What is the relationship between SID and shore leave and transit and transfer of

Shore leave

• Any seafarer who holds a valid seafarers' identity document issued in accordance
with the provisions of this Convention by a Member for which the Convention is
in force shall be recognized as a seafarer within the meaning of the Convention
unless clear grounds exist for doubting the authenticity of the seafarers' identity

• Each Member for which this Convention is in force shall, in the shortest possible
time, and unless clear grounds exist for doubting the authenticity of the seafarers'
identity document, permit the entry into its territory of a seafarer holding a valid
seafarer's identity document, when entry is requested for temporary shore leave
while the ship is in port.

• Such entry shall be allowed provided that the formalities on arrival of the ship
have been fulfilled and the competent authorities have no reason to refuse
permission to come ashore on grounds of public health, public safety, public order
or national security.

• For the purpose of shore leave seafarers shall not be required to hold a visa. Any
Member which is not in a position to fully implement this requirement shall
ensure that its laws and regulations or practice provide arrangements that are
substantially equivalent.

Transit and transfer

• Each Member for which this Convention is in force shall, in the shortest possible
time, also permit the entry into its territory of seafarers holding a valid seafarers'
identity document supplemented by a passport, when entry is requested for the
purpose of:

(a) Joining their ship or transferring to another ship;
(b) Passing in transit to join their ship in another country or
for repatriation; or any other purpose approved by the
authorities of the Member concerned.

• Such entry shall be allowed unless clear grounds exist for doubting the
authenticity of the seafarers' identity document, provided that the competent
authorities have no reason to refuse entry on grounds of public health, public
safety, public order or national security.

• Any Member may, before permitting entry into its territory for one of the
purposes specified above, require satisfactory evidence, including documentary
evidence of a seafarer's intention and ability to carry out that intention. The
Member may also limit the seafarer's stay to a period considered reasonable for
the purpose in question.

What is the responsibility of the seafarer regarding SID?

• The seafarers' identity document shall remain in the seafarer's possession at all
times, except when it is held for safekeeping by the master of the ship concerned,
with the seafarer's written consent.

• The seafarers' identity document shall be promptly withdrawn by the issuing State
if it is ascertained that the seafarer no longer meets the conditions for its issue
under this Convention. Procedures for suspending or withdrawing seafarers'
identity documents shall be drawn up in consultation with the representative ship
owners' and seafarers' organizations and shall include procedures for
administrative appeal.

Comparison between USA crewmember visa and ILO 185 - Seafarers’ Identity

Crewmember (D-1) Visa ILO-185 Seafarers’ Identity Document

Who Issues? Consular officers at American
Consulates issue D-1 visas. 22
C.F.R. 41.41
Seafarers’ country of nationality or
country of permanent residence issues
SID. Art. 2
Who Must
Foreign crewmembers applying for
shore leave in the United States
must have a D-1 visa. There is no
requirement for foreign
crewmembers that are on a ship in
United States waters to possess a
visa if they don’t apply for shore
SID to be issued to seafarers who apply
for them. There is no requirement in
ILO-185 for seafarers to possess a SID.
However, countries could require
seafarers to possess SID. Art. 2. SID
holders shall not be required to hold a
visa for the purposes of shore leave. Art.
Exceptions Legislative authority already exists
for immigration officers to waive
visas in circumstances provided for
in CFR regulations.
The Department of Homeland Security
could promulgate regulations authorizing
CBP officers to waive visas for
crewmembers possessing conforming
ILO-185 SID. In the alternative,
Congress could enact specific legislation
authorizing waiving visas for
crewmembers possessing valid SID. A
crewmember that does not have a SID
would have to possess a D-1 visa to apply
for shore leave.
All United States visas issued after
October 26, 2005 must be machine
readable, tamper-resistant, and use
biometric identifiers. Biometric
identifiers must conform to
national and international
SID must be machine readable, tamper
resistant and use a biometric identifier.
Annex to ILO-185 allows updating
biometric identifier to conform to
emerging technologies. Art. 3. ILO-185
was drafted so that SID would conform
to the physical requirements for United
States visas.
Duration of
Varies according to nationality of
applicant and that country’s
reciprocal treatment of US citizens.
Maximum period of validity is ten
To be determined by issuing country with
a maximum period of validity of ten
years. Art 3.6.
Interview A consular officer interviews visa
applicants at time of visa
CBP officer interviews all crew when
their vessel makes entry to US port after
making foreign port call.

Crewmember (D-1) Visa ILO-185 Seafarers’ Identity Document

Consular officer conducts record
check as part of visa application at
the time of application. (Record
check usefulness would diminish
over the life span of the visa.)
Issuing country determines criteria for
issuing SID to seafarers. Seafarers
entering United States ports will be
screened by CBP before arrival. CBP
conducts up-to-date records checks of all
crewmembers on ships entering United
States ports as part of the 96-hour pre-
arrival notice procedure. SID would be
used to ascertain identity, not
Travel Document A D-1 visa is affixed to a seafarers’
travel document and is part of the
travel document.
SID is not travel documents. Art. 3.4. (b)
A crewmember would need to have a
passport in addition to a SID.
While Ashore
Crew passports and seamen’s
books are locked up the ship’s safe
while in port. Crewmembers do
not have biometric visas on their
person while they are on shore
SID shall remain in the seafarer’s
possession at all times. Art. 7.
Crewmembers holding SID would have
reliable identification documents while
shore leave.
Database Integrated entry and exit data
system captures data only for aliens
entering (and departing) the United
SID issuing country must maintain an
electronic database of SID records.
Information concerning validity and
authenticity of SID must be provided to
ILO member nations. Art. 4. With
widespread ILO-185 ratification, identity
records of virtually all of the world’s
seafarers could be captured in accessible
Shore Leave D-1 visas do not entitle holders to
shore leave. CBP officer
authorizes shore leave after
considering results of pre-arrival
records check and interviews.
Visas would be used to ascertain
SID does not entitle holders to shore
leave. CBP officer authorizes shore leave
after considering results of pre-arrival
records check and interviews. SID would
be used to ascertain identity.
Verification of
Consular officer would verify
biometrics as part of visa
application process
CBP would verify biometrics at each
entry by the US Visit program.



IMO: IAMSAR Manual: International aeronautical and maritime search and rescue
manual. Jointly published by IMO and the International Civil Aviation Organization
(ICAO), the three-volume IAMSAR Manual provides guidelines for a common aviation
and maritime approach to organizing and providing search and rescue (SAR) services.
Each volume can be used as a standalone document or, in conjunction with the other two
volumes, as a means to attain a full view of the SAR system. SOLAS chapter V Safety of
Navigation requires ships to carry an up-to-date copy of Volume III of the International
Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual.

The IAMSAR manual is divided into three volumes:

Volume I, Organization and Management, discusses the global SAR system
concept, establishment and improvement of national and regional SAR systems
and co-operation with neighbouring States to provide effective and economical
SAR services.

Volume II, Mission Co-ordination, assists personnel who plan and co- ordinate
SAR operations and exercises.

Volume III, Mobile Facilities, is intended to be carried aboard rescue units,
aircraft and vessels to help with performance of a search, rescue or on-scene
coordinator function, and with aspects of SAR that pertain to their own

The primary purpose of the three volumes of the International Aeronautical and Maritime
Search and Rescue Manual is to assist States in meeting their own search and rescue
(SAR) needs and the obligations they accepted under the Convention on International
Civil Aviation, the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue, and the
International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). These volumes provide
guidelines for a common aviation and maritime approach to organizing and providing
SAR services. States are encouraged to develop and improve their SAR services, to co-
operate with neighbouring States and to consider their SAR services to be part of a global
SAR system.

Each IAMSAR Manual volume is written with specific SAR system duties in mind, and
can be used as a stand-alone document, or, in conjunction with the other two volumes, as
a means to attain a full view of the SAR system.
The Organization and Management volume (volume I) discusses the global SAR system
concept, establishment and improvement of national and regional SAR systems, and co-
operation with neighbouring States to provide effective and economical SAR services;

The Mission Co-ordination volume (volume II) assists personnel who plan and
co-ordinate SAR operations and exercises; and

The Mobile Facilities volume (volume III) is intended to be carried aboard rescue units,
aircraft, and vessels to help with performance of a search, rescue, or on-scene
co-ordinator function and with aspects of SAR that pertain to their own emergencies.


The purpose of the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual
for Mobile Facilities, which is intended for carriage aboard search and rescue units, and
aboard civil aircraft and vessels, is to provide guidance to those who:

Operate aircraft, vessels or other craft, and who may be called upon to use the
facility to support SAR operations
Annex 12 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation
Regulation V/33 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea,
1974 (SOLAS 1974).
SC is the top level SAR manager; each State normally will have one or more
persons or agencies for whom this designation may be appropriate

SC has the overall responsibility for
May need to perform on-scene co-ordinator functions for multiple facilities in the
vicinity of a distress situation
Experience actual or potential emergencies, and may require search and rescue
(SAR) assistance

Responsibilities and Obligations to Assist

Under long-standing traditions of the sea and various provisions of international law, ship
masters are obligated to assist others in distress at sea whenever they can safely do so.
The responsibilities to render assistance to a distressed vessel or aircraft are based on
humanitarian considerations and established international practice. Specific obligations
can be found in several conventions, including the following:

International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue
National and Regional SAR System Organization

SAR Co-ordination

The SAR system has three general levels of co-ordination:

SAR co-ordinator (SC)
SAR mission co-ordinator (SMC)
On-scene co-ordinator (OSC) & SAR Co-ordinators
Establishing, staffing, equipping and managing the SAR system
Establishing RCC and rescue sub-centres (RSC)
Providing or arranging for SAR facilities
Co-ordinating SAR training

Developing SAR policies
SAR Mission Co-ordinator

Each SAR operation is carried out under the guidance of an SMC. This function exists
only for the duration of a specific SAR incident and is normally performed by the RCC
chief or a designee. The SMC may have assisting staff.

The SMC guides a SAR operation until a rescue has been affected or it becomes apparent
that further efforts would be of no avail. The SMC should be well trained in all SAR
processes, be thoroughly familiar with the applicable SAR plans, and:

Gather information about distress situations
Develop accurate and workable SAR action plans
Dispatch and co-ordinate the resources to carry out SAR missions.
SMC duties include:

Obtain and evaluate all data on the emergency
Ascertain the type of emergency equipment carried by the missing or distressed
Remain informed of prevailing environmental conditions
If necessary, ascertain movements and locations of vessels and
Alert shipping in likely search areas for rescue, lookout and/or radio watch
Plot the areas to search and decide on methods and facilities to be used
Develop the search action plan and rescue action plan as appropriate
Co-ordinate the operation with adjacent RCC when appropriate
Arrange briefing and debriefing of SAR personnel
Evaluate all reports and modify search action plan as necessary
Arrange for refuelling of aircraft and, for prolonged search, make arrangements
for the accommodation of SAR personnel
Arrange for delivery of supplies to sustain survivors
Maintain in chronological order an accurate and up-to-date record
Issue progress reports
Recommend to the RCC chief the abandoning or suspending of the search
Release SAR facilities when assistance is no longer required notify accident
investigation authorities
If applicable, notify the State of registry of the aircraft
Prepare a final report

On-Scene Co-ordinator

When two or more SAR facilities are working together on the same mission, one person
on-scene may be needed to co-ordinate the activities of all participating facilities.

The SMC designates an OSC, who may be the person in charge of a:

Search and rescue unit (SRU), ship, or aircraft participating in a search, or

Nearby facility in a position to handle OSC duties
The person in charge of the first facility to arrive at the scene will normally
assume the OSC function until the SMC arranges for that person to be relieved.

Rendering assistance

Vessels Assisting
Methods of Distress Notification
Visual signals or sound signals from a nearby distressed craft

Immediate Action

An alarm signal or a distress call from another vessel at sea, either directly or by
A distress call or message from aircraft. This usually occurs by relay from a CRS
Alert sent from a vessel's alerting equipment and then relayed shore-to-ship

- Distressed craft's identity, call sign, and name
- Nature of the distress or casualty
- Number of victims, if any

The following immediate action should be taken by any ship receiving a distress

Acknowledge receipt of message.
Gather the following information from the craft in distress if possible:
- Position of distressed craft
- Number of POB
- Type of assistance required
- Distressed craft's course and speed
- Type of craft, and cargo carried
- Any other pertinent information that might facilitate the rescue

Vessels should maintain communications with the distressed craft while
attempting to advise the SAR system of the situation.

Proceeding to the Area of Distress

Establish a traffic co-ordinating system among vessels proceeding to the same
area of distress
Maintain active radar plots on vessels in the general vicinity
Estimate the ETA to the distress site of other assisting vessels
Assess the distress situation to prepare for operations on-scene

On-Board Preparation

A vessel en route to assist a distressed craft should have the following equipment ready
for possible use:

Life-saving and rescue equipment:

Lifeboat, inflatable life-raft, lifejackets, survival suits for the crew, lifebuoys, breeches,
buoys, portable VHF radios for communication with the ship and boats deployed,
line-throwing apparatus, buoyant lifelines, hauling lines, non-sparking boat hooks or
grappling hooks, hatchets, rescue baskets, pilot ladders, scrambling nets, copies of the
International Code of Signals, radio equipment operating on MF/HF and/or VHF/UHF
and capable of communicating with the SMC and rescue facilities, and with a facility for
direction finding (DF), supplies and survival equipment as required, fire-fighting
equipment, portable ejector pumps, binoculars, cameras, bailers and oars.

Signalling equipment:
Signalling lamps, searchlights, torches, flare pistol with colour-coded signal flares,
buoyant VHF/UHF marker beacons, floating lights, smoke generators, flame and smoke
floats, dye markers, loud hailers.

Preparations for medical assistance, including

Stretchers, blankets, medical supplies and medicines, clothing, food, shelter

Miscellaneous equipment

Vessels Not Assisting

If fitted, a gantry crane for hoisting on each side of ship with a cargo net for recovery of
survivors, line running from bow to stern at the water's edge on both sides for boats and
craft to secure alongside, on the lowest weather deck, pilot ladders and manropes to assist
survivors boarding the vessel, vessel's lifeboats ready for use as a boarding station,
Line-throwing apparatus ready for making connection with either ship in distress or
survival craft, Floodlights set in appropriate locations, if recovery at night.

The master deciding not to proceed to the scene of a distress due to sailing time involved
and in the knowledge that a rescue operation is under way should:

Make an appropriate entry in the ship's log-book
If the master had previously acknowledged and responded to the alert, report the
decision not to proceed to the SAR service concerned
Consider reports unnecessary if no contact has been made with the SAR service
Reconsider the decision not to proceed nor report to the SAR service when vessel
in distress is far from land or in an area where density of shipping is low

Developing a Rescue Plan

Although the SMC normally prepares a rescue plan, sometimes the OSC may have to
develop it.

Factors to consider include:

Risk to SAR personnel
Number, location and disposition of the survivors
Condition of survivors and medical considerations
Current meteorological conditions
Current sea conditions, as appropriate
Time of day
Survival equipment on hand
Type of rescue craft, etc

In a distress incident, even uninjured persons who are supposedly able-bodied and
capable of logical thought are often unable to accomplish simple tasks and may hinder
their own rescue.

Positioning of landing or pick-up areas

Operating areas on vessels should be located on the main deck and, if practicable,
arranged on both port and starboard sides
The operating areas consist of an outer manoeuvring zone and an inner clear zone
Establish the best position within the area for the manoeuvring zone that will give
the largest clear zone
As large a stretch of deck which is clear of obstructions should be made available
as a pick-up area
Whenever possible, the clear zone should be close to the ship's side
Any amount of the manoeuvring zone may extend outboard but none of the clear
zone may do so
Identify clear access to the operating area and exit from it to the ship's side
Areas close to the bow are not recommended due to the increased air-flow
turbulence created by the ship's passage
During the night, pick-up area floodlighting should be provided and the
floodlights should be located so as to avoid glare to pilots in flight or to personnel
working on the area
The arrangement and aiming of floodlights should be such that they are not
directed towards the helicopter and shadows are kept to a minimum
The spectrum distribution of the floodlights should be such that the surface and
obstacle markings can be correctly identified
Obstacles should be clearly identified by obstacle lights
Where pick-up area floodlighting and obstacle lighting cannot be provided, the
ship should, in consultation with the pilot, be illuminated as brightly as possible,
particularly the pick-up area and any obstructions, such as masts, funnels, deck
gear, etc.

Clothing or other objects lying about should be cleared away or secured due to
strong air-wind current from the helicopter.
The helicopter may be able to lift a person from a lifeboat or a life-raft secured on
a long painter. However, life-rafts have been overturned by the helicopter's air-

Safety Preparations

A suitable foam application system (fixed or portable), capable of delivering a
foam solution at a rate of not less than 6 litres per minute for each square metre of
clear zone and sufficient foam compound to enable the rate to be maintained for at
least five minutes
Carbon Dioxide (CO
) extinguishers with an aggregate capacity of not less than
18 kg & a deck water system capable of delivering at least two jets of water to
any part of the helicopter operating area at least two fire hose nozzles which
should be of the dual-purpose type
Portable fire-fighting equipment for oil fires should be stationed near the
disembarkation space
For better identification from the air, and also for showing the direction of the
wind to the helicopter pilot, flags and pennants should be flown

A briefing to discuss the safety aspects and operational details of helicopter-ship
operations should be held for all involved personnel prior to the operation's
commencement. Wherever available, the following fire-fighting equipment or its
equivalent should be ready during helicopter operations:

At least two dry powder extinguishers with an aggregate capacity of not less than
45 kg
Fire-resistant blankets and gloves
Sufficient fire proximity suits
If possible, the fire-fighting pump should be started and hoses should be
connected and kept in readiness
All crew members concerned, as well as the persons to be evacuated, should wear

Rescue by Maritime Facilities
General Maritime Considerations

For survivors in the water, the rescuing vessel may find it necessary to:

Rig scramble nets
Launch lifeboats
Launch life-rafts
Have crew members suitably equipped to enter the water to assist survivors
Be prepared to provide initial medical treatment

For a fire or extremely heavy weather, or where it is impossible for the rescue ship to
come alongside, then a lifeboat or life-raft may be towed to a closer position.

In heavy weather, the use of oil for reducing the effect of the sea should be considered.
Experience has shown that vegetable oils and animal oils, including fish oils, are most
suitable for quelling waves lubricating oils may be used. Fuel oil should not be used,
except as a last resort, as it is harmful to persons in the water. Lubricating oil is less
harmful, and tests have shown that 200 litres discharged slowly through a rubber hose
with an outlet just above the sea, while the ship proceeds at slow speed, and can
effectively quell a sea area of some 5,000 square metres.

In heavy weather, a ship with a low freeboard may be better suited to affect rescue. . A
boarding station may be rigged by mooring a life-raft alongside.

The comparative rates of drift of the distressed craft and the rescuing ship.
Survivors should be questioned about the distressed craft as soon as possible. Their input
may be able to further assist in the SAR operation, future SAR operations, or the
prevention of incidents in the future. The information should be relayed to the SMC.
How many others did you see leave the aircraft by parachute?
Were search craft seen before the survivors were located and, if so, what were the
dates and times of the sightings?
The direction of approach to the distressed craft (or survivors) will depend upon
circumstances. Some emergencies, such as a ship on fire, may have to be approached
from windward and others, such as life-rafts, from leeward.
The two key factors are:
Whether a lee-side protection is necessary during the rescue operation and

Debriefing of Survivors

Questions to ask include the following:

What was the time and date of the incident?
Did you bail out or was the aircraft ditched?
If you bailed out, at what altitude?
How many ditched with the aircraft?
How many did you see leave the aircraft after ditching?
How many survivors did you see in the water?
What flotation gear had they?
What was the total number of persons aboard the aircraft prior to the accident?
What caused the emergency?
What was the total number of persons on board the vessel?
What was the last known position?
Were any of the persons able to leave by lifeboat or raft?
How long was the survivor in the water?

Were any signals or devices used to try to attract the attention of search craft? If
so, what were they and when were they used?

Survivors should also be questioned about their medical history:

Recurring disease
Heart trouble
Conditions from which they may suffer
This information should be noted, together with any medical attention given, for future
attending physicians.
The questioning of survivors has the following purposes:
To obtain information, which may assist and improve SAR services
Care must be taken to avoid worsening a survivor's condition by excessive interrogation.
OSC Duties
The duties are:
Co-ordinate operations of all SAR facilities on-scene
Modify the search action or rescue action plan as the situation on-scene dictates,
keeping the SMC advised (do in consultation with the SMC when practicable)
Monitor the performance of other participating facilities

To ensure that all survivors are rescued
To attend to the physical welfare of each survivor

Receive the search action plan or rescue plan from the SMC or plan the search or
rescue operation, if no plan is otherwise available
Co-ordinate on-scene communications
Ensure operations are conducted safely, paying particular attention to maintaining
safe separations among all facilities, both surface and air
Make periodic situation reports to the SMC. The report should include but not be
limited to:

- Weather and sea conditions
- The results of search to date
- Any actions taken
- Any future plans or recommendations

Maintain a detailed record of the operation:

On-scene arrival and departure times of SAR facilities, other vessels and aircraft
engaged in the operation

Record of areas searched
Record of track spacing used
Record of results obtained
Request additional SMC assistance when necessary (for example, medical
evacuation of seriously injured survivors)
Planning the Search
Time interval between the incident and the arrival of SAR facilities

Actions taken based on sightings and leads reported

Advice the SMC to release facilities no longer required
Report the number and names of survivors to the SMC
Provide the SMC with the names and designations of facilities with survivors
Report which survivors are in each facility


It will be necessary to establish a datum, or geographic reference, for the area to be
searched. The following factors should be considered:

Reported position and time of the SAR incident
Any supplementary information such as DF bearings or sightings
Estimated surface movements of the distressed craft or survival craft, depending
on drift
The datum position for the search is found as follows:

Drift has two components: leeway and total water current
Leeway direction is downwind
Leeway speed depends on wind speed the observed wind speed when approaching
the scene may be used for estimating leeway speed of life-rafts by using the graph
following this discussion (Persons in the water (PIW) have no leeway while life-
raft stability and speed vary with or without drogue or ballast)
Total water current may be estimated by computing set and drift when
approaching the scene
Drift direction and speed is the vector sum of leeway and total water current
Drift distance is drift speed multiplied by the time interval between the incident
time, or time of the last computed datum, and the commence search time
Datum position is found by moving from the incident position, or last computed
datum position, the drift distance in the drift direction and plotting the resulting
position on a suitable chart

The method to plot the search area:

Draw a circle centred on datum with radius R
Using tangents to the circle, form a square as shown in the attached figure

If several facilities will be searching at the same time, divide the square into sub-
areas of the appropriate size and assign search facilities accordingly

Search Patterns

It is difficult for fixed-wing aircraft to fly legs close to datum if S is less than 2
This is most effective when the position of the search object is accurately known
and the search area is small. . Used to search a circular area centred on a datum
An aircraft and a vessel may be used together to perform independent sector
searches of the same area
For aircraft, the search pattern radius is usually between 5 NM and 20 NM

This is normally used when an aircraft or vessel has disappeared without a trace
along a known route
Consists of a rapid and reasonably thorough search along intended route of the
distressed craft
Expanding Square Search (SS)

This type is most effective when the location of the search object is known within
relatively close limits
The commence search point is always the datum position
Often appropriate for vessels or small boats to use when searching for persons in
the water or other search objects with little or no leeway
Due to the small area involved, this procedure must not be used simultaneously by
multiple aircraft at similar altitudes or by multiple vessels
Accurate navigation is required; the first leg is usually oriented directly into the
wind to minimize navigational errors

Sector Search (VS)

Due to the small area involved, this procedure must not be used simultaneously by
multiple aircraft at similar altitudes or by multiple vessels
A suitable marker (for example, a smoke float or a radio beacon) may be dropped
at the datum position and used as a reference or navigational aid marking the
centre of the pattern
For vessels, the search pattern radius is usually between 2 NM and 5 NM
Track Line Search (TS)

Often used as initial search effort due to ease of planning and implementation
Search may be along one side of the track line and return in the opposite direction
on the other side (TSR)
Search may be along the intended track and once on each side, then search facility
continues on its way and does not return (TSN).
Aircraft are frequently used for TS due to their high speed.

Parallel Sweep Search (PS)

This is used to search a large area when survivor location is uncertain
Most effective over water or flat terrain
Usually used when a large search area must be divided into sub-areas for
assignment to individual search facilities on-scene at the same time
The commence search point is in one corner of the sub-area, one-half track space
inside the rectangle from each of the two sides forming the corner
Search legs are parallel to each other and to the long sides of the sub-area

Multiple vessels may be also be used to conduct a parallel sweep search.

Creeping line search, co-ordinated (CSC) is often used

Co-ordinated Vessel and Aircraft Search Pattern
This is normally used only if there is an OSC present to give direction to and
provide communications with the participating craft
The aircraft does most of the searching, while the ship steams along a course at a
speed as directed by the OSC so that the aircraft can use it as a navigational
The aircraft, as it passes over the ship, can easily make corrections to stay on the
track of its search pattern
Gives a higher probability of detection than can normally be attained by an
aircraft searching alone


IAMSAR Manual; International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual, Volume
III, Mobile Facilities (incorporating 2001, 2002 and 2003 amendments); IMO/ICAO,
London/Montreal, 2003

Ballast Water Management

International Maritime Organization Convention on Ballast Water Management

For over a decade, the International Maritime Organization of the United Nations (IMO)
has been working on the development of international regulations for managing ballast
water in vessels to minimize the risk of non-indigenous aquatic nuisance species
becoming established in coastal waters around the world as a result of ballast water
discharges. On February 13, 2003, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) agreed
to the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water
& Sediments. This Convention and its supporting Annex (the Convention), if ratified by a
sufficient number of nations and entered into force, will be the first time international law
has attempted to minimize the spread of non-indigenous, aquatic organisms by requiring
ballast water management. This Convention also would establish the first performance
standards applicable to ballast water treatment. A delegation of U.S. officials, led by the
Coast Guard, participated at the IMO in the development of the Convention.

Under the Convention, all new and existing vessels with ballast tanks will be required to
implement ballast water management procedures and meet specific standards when on
voyages entering a nation’s waters from beyond its Exclusive Economic Zone (200
miles). The Convention specifies both (i) an interim ballast water exchange standard, and
(ii) ballast water performance standards.

The ballast water exchange standard requires an efficiency of at least 95 percent
volumetric exchange of ballast water in a vessel’s ballast tanks. The ballast water
performance standards require that vessels subject to the performance standards reduce
the concentration of viable organisms (expressed in terms of the number of organisms per
unit volume of discharged ballast water) discharged from their ballast tanks to the levels
specified in the Convention’s regulations.

The IMO developed a timeline by which new and existing vessels will be required to
meet the standards. In general, new vessels (defined in the Convention as constructed in
or after 2009) will be required, upon entry into service, to meet the performance
standards. Existing vessels (defined in the Convention as constructed before 2009) are
given a phase-in period (until either 2014 or 2016, depending on the size of the vessel)
before they must meet the performance standards. During the phase-in period, existing
vessels are to conduct ballast water exchange. The Convention does not grant permanent
“grandfathering” for existing vessels.

Currently there are no technologies that have been demonstrated aboard vessels that
would meet the standards established by the Convention. The Coast Guard and the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, however, have been involved in
testing of scaled-down treatment technologies. To some extent, the slow pace of
development and implementation of ballast water treatment technologies is a result of the
lack of a definitive standard for ballast water. To ensure that proven technologies are
available, the Convention provides that the IMO must review the performance standards
no later than 3 years before the earliest effective date of the standards, for achievability,
efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness.

Many hope the Convention’s standards will spur scientific research to develop sufficient
technologies and the data needed to effectively manage ballast water to the prescribed
standards before the Convention’s deadlines. Vessels participating in a program approved
by the IMO to test and evaluate promising ballast water treatment technologies will be
given a 5 year grace period before having to comply with applicable standards.

Nations that are party to the Convention are given the right to implement additional, more
stringent measures than are provided in the Convention, to prevent, reduce, or eliminate
the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens.

The Convention’s ballast water management regulations would apply to both port nations
and flag nations under whose authority a vessel operates, which ratify the Convention. As
a result, whether or not the U.S. ratifies the Convention, U.S.-flagged vessels equipped
with ballast water tanks that call on ports in nations that have ratified it will likely be
subject to the requirements of the Convention after it enters into force. In addition, if
Canada or the U.S. ratifies the Convention and it enters into force, vessels that ply trade
in the Great Lakes and between Alaska and the continental United States also would be
subject to the IMO regulations, as these vessels move between U.S. and Canadian waters
en route to their destinations. Otherwise, U.S. coastwise trade would be unaffected by the
IMO Convention.
The Convention will enter into force if 12 months after the date on which at least 30
nations, representing more than 35 per cent of world merchant shipping tonnage, ratify it.
Further details of the Convention are described in the Appendix attached to this

Summary of the International Maritime
Organization’s Ballast Water Management Convention
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) body agreed to and adopted a treaty, the
International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water &
Sediments, on February 13, 2004. The Convention aims to minimize the spread of non-
indigenous, aquatic organisms through ballast water by imposing international standards
that will apply to all ballast-carrying vessels on international voyages.

A. General Obligations and Applicability.
Under the Convention, all new and existing vessels with ballast tanks will be required to
implement ballast water management procedures and meet specific standards when on
voyages beyond the Exclusive Economic Zone of a nation.

All vessels will have to have on board and implement a Ballast Water and Sediments
Management Plan approved by the flag nation under whose authority the vessel is
operating. The plan is to be specific to each vessel and is to describe the actions to be
taken to implement the vessel’s ballast water management requirements and practices.

Vessels also must have a Ballast Water Record Book to record when ballast water is
taken on-board, circulated, or treated for ballast water management purposes, and
discharged into the sea.
The Convention’s ballast water management regulations would apply both to U.S.-
flagged vessels equipped with ballast water tanks that undertake international voyages
and internationally flagged vessels that call on U.S. ports. Under current interpretation,
vessels that ply trade in the Great Lakes and between Alaska and the continental United
States also would be subject to the IMO regulations, as these vessels enter extraterritorial
waters en route to their destinations. Otherwise, coastwise trade would be unaffected by
the IMO Convention.

B. Standards for Ballast Water Management

The Convention specifies both an interim ballast water exchange standard, and ballast
water performance standards:

Ballast Water Exchange Standard

The ballast water exchange standard requires that vessels performing ballast water
exchange must do so with an efficiency of at least 95 percent volumetric exchange of
ballast water in a vessel’s ballast tanks. For vessels exchanging ballast water by the
pump-through method, pumping through 3 times the volume of each ballast water tank
will be considered to meet the 95 percent volumetric exchange standard.
All vessels conducting ballast water exchange will be required to, whenever possible,
perform the exchange at least 200 nautical miles from the nearest land and in water at
least 200 meters in depth. In cases where a vessel is unable to conduct ballast water
exchange as above, it must perform the exchange as far from the nearest land as possible,
and in all cases at least 50 nautical miles from the nearest land and in water at least 200
meters in depth. When neither of these requirements can be met, the port State may
designate areas where vessels may conduct ballast water exchange.

Ballast Water Performance Standards.

The ballast water performance standards require that vessels subject to the performance
standards reduce the concentration of viable organisms discharged from their ballast
tanks to the following levels:

Class of Organisms Maximum Concentration of Organisms
Allowed in Discharged Ballast Water
(number of organisms/unit volume of ballast
Size Class of Organisms:
(in organism’s minimum dimension)
Organisms >50 microns (micrometers)*
(* - This larger organism size class is generally
aimed at controlling zooplankton and other
animal organisms.)

<10 viable organisms per cubic meter
(1,000,000 litres) of ballast water.
<10 viable organisms per millilitre (0.001 litre)
of ballast water [i.e., <10 million viable
organisms per cubic meter (1,000,000
millilitres) of ballast water].

Organisms between 10-50 microns**
(** - This smaller organism size class is
generally aimed at controlling phytoplankton
and other small plant organisms.)

Indicator Microbe Type:
Toxicogenic Vibrio cholerae
Escherichia coli

<1 colony-forming unit per 100 millilitres (0.1
litre) of ballast water.

<250 colony forming unit per 100 millilitres
(0.1 litre) of ballast water.
Intestinal Enterococci

<100 colony forming unit per 100 millilitres
(0.1 litre) of ballast water.

B. Compliance Deadlines.

The Convention specifies deadlines for meeting the standards. The IMO developed a
complicated timeline by which new and existing vessels will be required to meet the

New Vessels (constructed in/after 2009).

In general, new vessels (defined in the Convention as constructed in or after 2009) will be
required, upon entry into service, to meet the performance standards. The specific
deadlines are as follows:

A new vessel with a ballast water capacity of <5,000 m3 is to conduct ballast water
management that meets the ballast water performance standard.

A new vessel with a ballast water capacity of >5,000 m3, and constructed before 2012, is
allowed a phase-in period before having to meet the ballast water performance standard:
the vessel may conduct ballast water management that meets either the ballast water
exchange standard or the ballast water performance standard until 2016, after which time
the vessel is to meet the ballast water performance standard.

• Those with a ballast water capacity of >5000 m3, and constructed in or after 2012,
are to conduct ballast water management that meets the ballast water performance
Existing Vessels (constructed before 2009).
Existing vessels (defined in the Convention as constructed before 2009) also will be
required to meet the performance standards, but are given a phase-in period (until either
2014 or 2016, depending on the size of the vessel) before they must meet those standards.
During the phase-in period, existing vessels will be required to conduct ballast water
exchange. The specific deadlines are as follows:
An existing vessel with a ballast water capacity of 1,500 - 5,000 cubic meters (m3) is to
conduct ballast water management that meets either the ballast water exchange standard
or the ballast water performance standard until 2014, after which time the vessel is to
meet the ballast water performance standard.
An existing vessel with a ballast water capacity of <1,500 m3 or >5,000 m3 is to conduct
ballast water management that meets either the ballast water exchange standard or the
ballast water performance standard until 2016, after which time the vessel is to meet the
ballast water performance standard.
The Convention does not grant permanent “grandfathering” for existing vessels.

C. Review of Ballast Water Management Standards

The IMO is to review the ballast water performance standards no later than 3 years before
the earliest effective date of the standard. The review is to include an assessment of the
standards’ biological and environmental efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness, and
whether appropriate technologies are available to achieve the standards.

D. Sediment Reception Facilities

Parties to the Convention are to ensure that ports and terminals, where cleaning or repair
of ballast tanks occurs, have adequate reception facilities for the reception of sediments.

E. IMO Approval of Ballast Water Management Technologies

Ballast water management technologies for meeting the Convention’s standards must be
approved by the IMO in accordance with IMO Guidelines. These include systems that
make use of chemicals/biocides or organisms/biological mechanisms, or which alter the
chemical/physical characteristics of the ballast water.

F. Research and Monitoring; Technical Assistance.
The Convention encourages nations (directly, or through the IMO or other international
organizations) to provide support to other Parties that request technical assistance,
including for training of personnel, and ensuring the availability of relevant technology,
equipment, and facilities.

The Convention encourages nations (individually or jointly) to conduct research on
ballast water management, and monitor the effects of ballast water management in waters
under their jurisdiction.

G. Prototype Ballast Water Treatment Technologies.

Vessels participating in a program approved by the IMO to test and evaluate promising
ballast water treatment technologies have a leeway of 5 years before having to comply
with applicable standards.

H. Survey, Certification, and Inspection.
The flag State under whose authority the vessel is operating is to survey all vessels of
>400 gross tonnage and certify compliance with Convention requirements.
Port State control officers may inspect a vessel, including verifying that the vessel has a
valid certificate, inspecting the Ballast Water Record Book, and/or sampling the ballast

The flag State is to issue certificates to certified vessels, effective for up to 5 years.

If there are concerns, then the port may conduct a detailed inspection and take such steps
to ensure that the vessel will not discharge ballast water until it can do so without
presenting a threat of harm to the environment, human health, or property.
“All possible efforts” are to be made to avoid a vessel being unduly detained or delayed.
I. More Stringent Measures.

Nations party to the Convention are given the right to implement additional, more
stringent measures than are provided in the Convention, to prevent, reduce, or eliminate
the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens.
The Party should consult with adjoining/nearby States that may be affected by such
standards or requirements, and is to notify the IMO, at least 6 months prior to the
projected implementation date, of its intention to establish additional measures (except in
emergency or epidemic situations).
J. Entry Into Force.
The Convention will enter into force 12 months after ratification by more than 30 nations,
representing more than 35 per cent of world merchant shipping tonnage

The Compensation Mechanism –

CLC / FUND / HNS Conventions

International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution
Damage (CLC), 1969

Adoption of the Convention: 29 November 1969
Entry into force: 19 June 1975
Note: The 1969 Convention is replaced by its 1992 Protocol as amended in 2000


The Civil Liability Convention was adopted to ensure that adequate compensation is
available to persons who suffer oil pollution damage resulting from maritime casualties
involving oil-carrying ships.

The Convention places the liability for such damage on the owner of the ship from which
the polluting oil escaped or was discharged.

Meaning of strict liability

However, except where the owner has been guilty of actual fault, they may limit liability
in respect of any one incident

The owner of a tanker has strict liability (i.e. he is liable also in the absence of fault) for
pollution damage caused by oil spilled from his tanker as a result of an incident. He is
exempt from liability under the 1992 Civil Liability Convention only if he proves that:

(a) The damage resulted from an act of war or a grave natural disaster, or
(b) The damage was wholly caused by sabotage by a third party, or
(c) The damage was wholly caused by the negligence of public authorities in maintaining
lights or other navigational aids.

Subject to a number of specific exceptions, this liability is strict; it is the duty of the
owner to prove in each case that any of the exceptions should in fact operate.
The Convention requires ships covered by it to maintain insurance or other financial
security in sums equivalent to the owner's total liability for one incident.

The details of the amounts that the ship owner was able to limit his liability are deliberately not being
mentioned here since the amounts have been changed by later amendments. The final amounts as it stands
today have been mentioned later under the relevant section. Mention of the old and new amounts, at
different places would have resulted in confusion.

The Convention applies to all seagoing vessels actually carrying oil in bulk as cargo, but
only ships carrying more than 2,000 tons of oil are required to maintain insurance in
respect of oil pollution damage.

The Convention covers pollution damage resulting from spills of persistent oils suffered
in the territory (including the territorial sea) of a State Party to the Convention. It is
applicable to ships, which actually carry oil in bulk as cargo, i.e. generally laden tankers.
Spills from tankers in ballast or bunker spills from ships other than other than tankers are
not covered, nor is it possible to recover costs when preventive measures are so
successful that no actual spill occurs
. The ship owner cannot limit liability if the
incident occurred as a result of the owner's personal fault.

It brought in the use of Special Drawing Rights (SDR)
as governed by the International
Monetary Fund and did away with the gold base (Poincaré franc) for determining
The Protocol of 1984
Entry into force: 12 months after being accepted by 10 States, including six with tanker
fleets of at least 1 million gross tons.

Channelling of liability

Claims for pollution damage under the 1992 Civil Liability Convention can be made only
against the registered owner of the tanker concerned.

The Protocol of 1976
Adoption: 9 November 1976
Entry into force: 8 April 1981

Adoption: 25 May 1984
Status: Superseded by 1992 Protocol

While the compensation system established by the 1969 CLC and 1971 Fund Convention
had proved very useful, by the mid-1980s it was generally agreed that the limits of
liability were too low to provide adequate compensation in the event of a major pollution

The 1984 Protocol set increased limits of liability, but it gradually became clear that the
Protocol would never secure the acceptance required for entry into force and it was
superseded by the 1992 version.
A major factor in the 1984 Protocol not entering into force was the reluctance of the
United States, a major oil importer, to accept the Protocol. The United States preferred a
system of unlimited liability, introduced in its Oil Pollution Act of 1990. As a result, the

This aspect was changed under the 1992 Protocol
1 SDR = US$ 1.443 (this exchange rate is as of 1
November 2006)

1992 Protocol was drawn up in such a way that the ratification of the United States was
not needed in order to secure entry into force conditions.

The Protocol of 1992
Adoption: 27 November 1992
Entry into force: 30 May 1996

The Protocol changed the entry into force requirements by reducing from six to four the
number of large tanker-owning countries that are needed. The compensation limits are
those originally agreed in 1984.

The 1992 protocol also widened the scope of the Convention to cover pollution damage
caused in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ)
or equivalent area of a State Party. The
Protocol covers pollution damage as before but environmental damage compensation is
limited to costs incurred for reasonable measures to reinstate the contaminated
environment. It also allows expenses incurred for preventive measures to be recovered
even when no spill of oil occurs, provided there was grave and imminent threat of
pollution damage.
From 16 May 1998, Parties to the 1992 Protocol ceased to be Parties to the 1969 CLC
due to a mechanism for compulsory denunciation of the "old" regime established in the
1992 Protocol. However, for the time being, the two regimes co-exist, since there are a
number of States, which are Party to the 1969 CLC and have not yet ratified the 1992
regime - which is intended to eventually replace the 1969 CLC.

The Protocol also extended the Convention to cover spills from sea-going vessels
constructed or adapted to carry oil in bulk as cargo so that it applies to both laden and
un-laden tankers, including spills of bunker oil from such ships.

Under the 1992 Protocol, a ship owner cannot limit liability if it is proved that the
pollution damage resulted from the ship owner's personal act or omission, committed
with the intent to cause such damage, or recklessly and with knowledge that such damage
would probably result.

The 1992 Protocol allows for States Party to the 1992 Protocol to issue certificates to
ships registered in States which are not Party to the 1992 Protocol, so that a ship owner
can obtain certificates to both the 1969 and 1992 CLC, even when the ship is registered
in a country which has not yet ratified the 1992 Protocol. This is important because a
ship, which has only a 1969 CLC, may find it difficult to trade to a country, which has
ratified the 1992 Protocol, since it establishes higher limits of liability.

EEZ extends to 200 nautical miles from the base line of a country as defined under UNCLOS.

The 2000 Amendments
The liability of the ship owner as it stands today:

For a ship not exceeding 5,000 gross tonnage, liability is limited to 4.51 million SDR
Adoption: 18 October 2000
Entry into force: 1 November 2003 (under tacit acceptance)

The amendments raised the compensation limits (increasing ship owner’s liability) by 50
percent compared to the limits set in the 1992 Protocol, as follows:

(US$ 6.5 million)
(Under the 1992 Protocol, the limit was 3 million SDR (US$ 4.33 million)

For a ship 5,000 to 140,000 gross tonnage: liability is limited to 4.51 million SDR (US$
6.5 million) plus 631 SDR (US$ 911) for each additional gross tonne over 5,000 (Under
the 1992 Protocol, the limit was 3 million SDR (US$ 4.33 million) plus 420 SDR
(US$606) for each additional gross tonne)

For a ship over 140,000 gross tonnage: liability is limited to 89.77 million SDR (US$
129.5 million)
(Under the 1992 Protocol, the limit was 59.7 million SDR (US$ 86.2 million)

International Convention on the Establishment of an
International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution
Damage (FUND), 1971

Adoption of the Convention: 18 December 1971
Entry into force: 16 October 1978
Note: The 1992 protocol replaces the 1971 Convention

Introduction and history

Although the 1969 Civil Liability Convention provided a useful mechanism for ensuring
the payment of compensation for oil pollution damage, it did not deal satisfactorily with
all the legal, financial and other questions raised during the Conference adopting the CLC

Some States objected to the regime established, since it was based on the strict liability of
the ship owner for damage, which they could not foresee and, therefore, represented a
dramatic departure from traditional maritime law, which based liability on fault. On the
other hand, some States felt that the limitation figures adopted were likely to be
inadequate in cases of oil pollution damage involving large tankers. They therefore
wanted an unlimited level of compensation or a very high limitation figure.

In the light of these reservations, the 1969 Brussels Conference considered a compromise
proposal to establish an international fund, to be subscribed to by the cargo interests,
which would be available for the dual purpose of, on the one hand, relieving the ship
owner of the burden by the requirements of the new convention and, on the other hand,
providing additional compensation to the victims of pollution damage in cases where
compensation under the 1969 Civil Liability Convention was either inadequate or

The Conference recommended that IMO should prepare such a scheme. The Legal
Committee accordingly prepared draft articles and the International Convention on the
Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage was
adopted at a Conference held in Brussels in 1971. It is supplementary to the 1969 Civil
Liability Convention.

The purposes of the Fund Convention are:

To provide compensation for pollution damage to the extent that the protection
afforded by the 1969 Civil Liability Convention is inadequate.
To give relief to ship owners in respect of the additional financial burden imposed
on them by the 1969 Civil Liability Convention, such relief being subject to
conditions designed to ensure compliance with safety at sea and other
To give effect to the related purposes set out in the Convention.

Under the first of its purposes, the Fund is under an obligation to pay compensation to
States and persons who suffer pollution damage, if such persons are unable to obtain
compensation from the owner of the ship from which the oil escaped or if the
compensation due from such owner is not sufficient to cover the damage suffered.
Under the Fund Convention, victims of oil pollution damage may be compensated
beyond the level of the ship owner's liability. However, the Fund's obligations are also
limited to an amount set by the Fund Convention (the limits were raised under the 1992

Where, however, there is no ship owner liable or the ship owner liable is unable to meet
his liability, the Fund will be required to pay the whole amount of compensation due.
Under certain circumstances, the Fund's maximum liability may be increased.

With the exception of a few cases, the Fund is obliged to pay compensation to the victims
of oil pollution damage who are unable to obtain adequate or any compensation from the
ship owner or his guarantor under the 1969 Convention.

The Fund's obligation to pay compensation is confined to pollution damage suffered in
the territories including the territorial sea of Contracting States. The Fund is also obliged
to pay compensation in respect of measures taken by a Contracting State outside its

The Fund can also provide assistance to Contracting States, which are threatened or
affected by pollution and wish to take measures against it. This may take the form of
personnel, material, credit facilities or other aid.

In connection with its second main function, the Fund is obliged to indemnify the ship
owner or his insurer for a portion of the ship owner's liability under the Liability
Convention. This portion is equivalent to 100 SDR (about US$ 144) per ton or 8.3
million SDR (about US$12 million), whichever is the lesser.

The Fund is not obliged to indemnify the owner if damage is caused by his wilful
misconduct or if the accident was caused, even partially, because the ship did not comply
with certain international conventions.

The Convention contains provisions on the procedure for claims, rights and obligations,
and jurisdiction.

All persons who receive oil by sea in Contracting States should make contributions to the
Fund. The Fund's Organization consists of an Assembly of States, a Secretariat headed
by a director appointed by the Assembly and an Executive Committee.

The Protocol of 1992
Adoption: 27 November 1992
Entry into force: 30 May 1996

As was the case with the 1992 Protocol to the CLC Convention, the main purpose of the
Protocol was to modify the entry into force requirements and increase compensation
amounts. The scope of coverage was extended in line with the 1992 CLC Protocol.

The 1992 Protocol established a separate, 1992 International Oil Pollution Compensation
Fund, known as the 1992 Fund, which is managed in London by a Secretariat, as with the
1971 Fund. In practice, the Director of the 1971 Fund is currently also the Director of the
1992 Fund.

Under the 1992 Protocol, the maximum amount of compensation payable from the Fund
for a single incident, including the limit established under the 1992 CLC Protocol, is 135
million SDR (about US$194 million). However, if three States contributing to the Fund
receive more than 600 million tonnes of oil per annum, the maximum amount is raised to
200 million SDR (about US$288.6 million).
From 16 May 1998, Parties to the 1992 Protocol ceased to be Parties to the 1971 Fund
Convention due to a mechanism for compulsory denunciation of the "old" regime
established in the 1992 Protocol. However, for the time being, two Funds (the 1971 Fund

and the 1992 Fund) are in operation, since there are some States, which have not yet
acceded to the 1992 Protocol, which is intended to completely replace the 1971 regimes.

IMO and the IOPC Fund Secretariat are actively encouraging Governments who have not
already done so to accede to the 1992 Protocols and to denounce the 1969 and 1971
regimes. Member States who remain in the 1971 Fund will face financial disadvantages,
since the financial burden is spread over fewer contributors. For both the 1971 and 1992
Funds, annual contributions are levied on the basis of anticipated payments of
compensation and estimated administrative expenses during the forthcoming year.

The 2000 Amendments
Adoption: 18 October 2000
Entry into force: 1 November 2003 (under tacit acceptance)

The compensation available as it stands today:
The amendments raise the maximum amount of compensation payable from the IOPC
Fund for a single incident, including the limit established under the 2000 CLC
amendments, to 203 million SDR (US$ 293 million), up from 135 million SDR
(US$194.8 million).

However, if three States contributing to the Fund receive more than 600 million tonnes of
oil per annum, the maximum amount is raised to 300,740,000 SDR (US$ 434 million),
up from 200 million SDR (US$287 million).

The 2003 Protocol (supplementary fund)
Adoption: 16 May 2003
Entry into force: 3 March 2005

The 2003 Protocol establishing an International Oil Pollution Compensation
Supplementary Fund was adopted by a diplomatic conference held at IMO Headquarters
in London.

The aim of the established Fund is to supplement the compensation available under the
1992 Civil Liability and Fund Conventions with an additional, third tier of compensation.
The Protocol is optional and participation is open to all States Parties to the 1992 Fund

The total amount of compensation payable for any one incident will be limited to a
combined total of 750 million Special Drawing Rights (SDR) (about US$1.1 billion)
including the amount of compensation paid under the existing CLC/Fund Convention.

Application of Protocol

The supplementary fund will apply to damage in the territory, including the territorial
sea, of a Contracting State and in the exclusive economic zone of a Contracting State.

Winding up of 1971 fund

Due to denunciations of the 1971 Fund Convention, this Convention ceased to be in force
on 24 May 2002.

The compensation mechanism under HNS Convention (i.e.
covering cargoes under Annex II of MARPOL 73/78)


The Convention will make it possible for up to 250 million SDR (about
US$ 361 million) to be paid out in compensation to victims of accidents
involving HNS, such as chemicals.

The HNS Convention is based on the two-tier system established under the CLC and
Fund Conventions. However, it goes further in that it covers not only pollution damage
but also the risks of fire and explosion, including loss of life or personal injury as well as
loss of or damage to property.
HNS are defined by reference to lists of substances included in various IMO Conventions
and Codes. These include oils; other liquid substances defined as noxious or dangerous;
liquefied gases; liquid substances with a flashpoint not exceeding 60°C; dangerous,
hazardous and harmful materials and substances carried in packaged form; and solid bulk
materials defined as possessing chemical hazards. The Convention also covers residues
left by the previous carriage of HNS, other than those carried in packaged form.
For ships not exceeding 2,000 units of gross tonnage, the limit is set at 10 million SDR
(about US$14.43 million). For ships above that tonnage, an additional 1,500 SDR (US$

The Convention defines damage as including loss of life or personal injury; loss of or
damage to property outside the ship; loss or damage by contamination of the
environment; the costs of preventative measures and further loss or damage caused by

The Convention introduces strict liability for the ship owner and a system of compulsory
insurance and insurance certificates.

Limits of liability

2164.5) is added for each unit of tonnage from 2001 to 50,000; and 360 SDR (US$
519.5) for each unit of tonnage in excess of 50,000 units of tonnage. The total possible
amount the ship owner is liable for is limited to 100 million SDR (US$144.3 million).
It has generally been agreed that it would not be possible to provide sufficient cover by
the ship owner liability alone for the damage that could be caused in connection with the
carriage of HNS cargo. This liability, which creates a first tier of the convention, is
therefore supplemented by the second tier, the HNS Fund, financed by cargo interests.
The Fund will become involved:
Because no liability for the damage arises for the ship owner. This could occur,
for example, if the ship owner was not informed that a shipment contained HNS
or if the accident resulted from an act of war
As with the CLC and Fund Conventions, when an incident occurs where compensation is
payable under the HNS Convention, compensation would first be sought from the ship
owner, up to the maximum limit of 100 million SDR (US$144.3 million).
Once this limit is reached, compensation would be paid from the second tier, the HNS
Fund, up to a maximum of 250 million SDR (US$ 361 million) (including compensation
paid under the first tier).

States which are Parties to the Convention can decide not to apply it to ships of 200 gross
tonnage and below, which carry HNS only in packaged form and are engaged on voyages
between ports in the same State. Two neighbouring States can further agree to apply
similar conditions to ships operating between ports in the two countries.

In order to ensure that ship owners engaged in the transport of HNS are able to meet their
liabilities, the Convention makes insurance compulsory for them. A certificate of
insurance must be carried on board and a copy kept by the authorities that keep record of
the ship's registry.

HNS Fund

Because the owner is financially incapable of meeting the obligations under this
Convention in full and any financial security that may be provided does not cover
or is insufficient to satisfy the claims for compensation for damage

Because the damage exceeds the owner's liability limits established in the

Contributions to the second tier will be levied on persons in the Contracting Parties who
receive a certain minimum quantity of HNS cargo during a calendar year. The tier will
consist of one general account and three separate accounts for oil, liquefied natural gas
(LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The system with separate accounts has been
seen as a way to avoid cross-subsidization between different HNS substances.

The Fund will have an Assembly consisting of all States, which are Parties and a
Secretariat headed by a Director. The Assembly will normally meet once a year.

HNS and the CLC/Fund Conventions

The HNS Convention excludes pollution damage as defined in the International
Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage and the International Convention
on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution
Damage, to avoid an overlap with these Conventions.

However, HNS covers other damage (including death or personal injury)
as well as damage caused by fire and/or explosion when oils are

A few questions that will help you understand the basics of the compensation
Q: What do the Funds do?
A: The International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPC Funds) are part of an
international regime of liability and compensation for oil pollution damage caused by oil
spills from tankers. Under the regime the owner of a tanker is liable to pay compensation
up to a certain limit for oil pollution damage following an escape of oil from his ship. If
that amount does not cover all the admissible claims, further compensation is available
from the 1992 Fund if the damage occurs in a State, which is a Member of that Fund.
Additional compensation may also be available from the Supplementary Fund if the State
is a Member of that Fund as well.
The IOPC Funds (1971 Fund and 1992 Fund) help compensate those who have suffered
financial loss as a result of an oil spill from a tanker.
Compensation for pollution damage caused by spills from oil tankers is governed by an
international regime elaborated under the auspices of the International Maritime
Organization (IMO). The framework for the regime was originally the 1969 International
Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (1969 Civil Liability
Convention) and the 1971 International Convention on the Establishment of an
International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage (1971 Fund Convention).
This 'old' regime was amended in 1992 by two Protocols, and the amended Conventions
are known as the 1992 Civil Liability Convention and the 1992 Fund Convention.

There are at present three IOPC Funds: the 1971 Fund, the 1992 Fund and the
Supplementary Fund. These three intergovernmental organisations have different
maximum amounts of compensation and have different Member States.

Q: What was the main difference between the 1971 and 1992 Funds?
A: The main difference is that the amount of compensation available from the 1992 Fund
is much higher than from the 1971 Fund.
Q: Where are the Funds' offices?
A: The joint Secretariat of the 1992 and 1971 Funds is based in London.
Q: How does a State become a Member of the 1992 Fund?

Q: Are there offices elsewhere in the world?
A: Occasionally a local claims handling office is opened near to where a major oil spill
has occurred so claims can be processed more easily. The local P & I Club plays a major
role in setting up a local office.
Q: What is the relationship between the IOPC Funds and IMO?
A: The 1971 Fund and 1992 Fund are completely independent from the IMO. Although
the Funds were established under Conventions adopted within IMO, they are independent
legal entities.
A: A State must become party to the 1992 Civil Liability Convention and to the 1992
Fund Convention by depositing a formal instrument of accession with the Secretary-
General of the IMO. These Conventions should be incorporated into the national law of
the State concerned.
Q: How long does it take to become a Member of the 1992 Fund?
A: A State will become a Member of the 1992 Fund twelve months after the instrument
of accession to the 1992 Fund Convention is deposited with IMO.
Q: What are the advantages of joining the 1992 Fund?
A: If a pollution incident occurs involving an oil tanker, compensation of approximately
US$298 million is available to governments or other authorities who have incurred costs
for clean-up operations or measures to prevent or minimise pollution damage and to
private bodies or individuals who have suffered damage within a 1992 Fund Member
State as a result of the pollution. The flag of the tanker and the ownership of the oil do
not affect the right to compensation.

Q: Who can claim from the IOPC Funds?
Q: How should a claim be presented?
The claims should be made in writing with all possible details, including supporting
documents such as an invoice, work sheets explanatory notes, accounts and photographs.
The Fund appoints surveyors and technical advisors to assess the claim. The local office
(as mentioned above) helps in the presentation of a claim.

A: Anyone who has suffered pollution damage (including clean-up costs) in a Member
State, for example individuals, companies, local authorities or States.
A: Claims for compensation should be brought against the ship owner liable for the
damage or, directly against the insurer, which will be the P & I Club third part insurer.
Further, the claims for compensation under the Fund Convention should be addressed
directly to the IOPC headquarters at London. The IOPC cooperates closely with the ship
owner’s P & I Club. Normally, the IOPC and the P & I Club concerned jointly assess the
damage. All supporting documents should be submitted in full either to the ship owner,
the P & I Club or the IOPC Fund office at London. Sometimes the claims are channelled
through the office of the local P & I Club or, a local surveyor for further processing to
any of the three entities mentioned above. Details of this are normally given the local
Q. Within what period should the claim be made?

The claim should be made as soon as possible. If there is a likelihood of a delay, then the
IOPC should be notified. The claimant will lose the right after three years from the date
of accident. It is to be noted that in some cases the environmental damage occurs much
after the incident but in any case the court action against the ship owner should be
brought no later than six years from the time of incident. Most of the claims are settled
out of courts. However, in order to give time for authenticating the claim, it is in the
interest of the claimant to submit the claim as soon as possible.
Q: What claims are covered?
A: The 1992 Fund pays for what is defined as 'pollution damage'. This covers the cost of
clean-up operations and property damage, as well as claims for consequential loss and
'pure economic loss'. For example, fishermen whose nets have become polluted are
entitled to compensation for cleaning or replacing nets, and compensation for loss of
income while they are unable to fish. Hotel owners at seaside resorts are entitled to
compensation for loss of tourism income resulting from an oil spill. Compensation is also
paid for measures taken to prevent or minimise pollution.

A: The 1971 and 1992 Funds levy contributions from entities in Member States, which
receive more than 150 000 tonnes of crude or heavy fuel oil ('contributing oil') in a year
after sea transport. Governments provide the Secretariat with reports of oil quantities
received, but invoices are sent directly to each contributor.
A: Yes. It is the first physical receiver of the oil in a Member State who is liable to pay
contributions, provided that the oil has previously been transported by sea. It does not
matter whether the oil is received on behalf of another company.
A: If there are no entities in a State that receive more than 150 000 tonnes of contributing
oil in a year, the State will have financial protection for oil spills at no cost at all. A case
in point is the Gulf countries as they are mainly oil exporting countries so; they do not
pay a penny but have coverage for oil pollution damage!
Q: How much does it cost to be a Member of the 1992 Fund?
A: This is another question that is impossible to answer! The level of contributions varies
each year, depending on the amounts of compensation, which the 1992 Fund has to pay.
That depends on the incidents, which occur, and the amounts to be paid in compensation.
Q: How are the IOPC Funds financed?
Q: Does that mean that States do not pay?
A: Normally, States do not pay any contributions. However a State can choose to pay the
contributions instead of the individual receivers if it wishes, but only a few States have
chosen to do this.
Q: Do oil exporters pay contributions?
A: No. In order to create a system, which would not be too complicated to operate, it was
decided to count oil quantities for contribution purposes only when they were received at
a port after sea transport.
Q: Does a company that receives oil temporarily in a storage facility for others have
to pay?
Q: If nobody in a Member State receives oil, what happens?
Q: How are contributions calculated?
A: The Fund Secretariat estimates the amount required for the following year for
compensation payments and administrative costs. The Assembly takes the decision on the
total amount required. This amount is divided by the total quantity of contributing oil
received in the Member States. This gives an amount per tonne of oil received. The

quantity of oil received by each contributor is multiplied by the amount per tonne to get
the amount in pounds sterling, which has to be paid by that contributor.

Convention on the Prevention of

Marine Pollution by Dumping of
Wastes and Other Matter, 1972 –
(London Convention)

Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and
Other Matter, 1972 – (London Convention)

Entry into force: 1975
India is NOT a party to the Convention

The London Convention aims to prevent marine pollution but focuses on controlling the
dumping at sea of wastes generated on land. The Convention includes a list of substances
for which dumping is prohibited (Annex I) and other lists for which dumping may be
authorised by permit. These are Annex II lists, i.e., substances that need a special permit
before they can be dumped at sea and the Annex III list of substances that require a
general permit before they can be dumped at sea.

The 1972 London Convention (Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by
Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, LC, formerly referred to as the London Dumping
Convention) entered into force in 1975. The 1996 Protocol to the London Convention has
still not entered into force. When it does it will replace the 1972 Convention. The IMO
provides the secretariat for both agreements.

The purpose of the 1972 London Convention is to control all sources of marine pollution
and prevent pollution of the sea through regulation of dumping into the sea of waste
materials. A so-called "black list" and "grey list" approach is applied for wastes, which
can be considered for disposal at sea according to the hazard they present to the
environment. For the black list items dumping is prohibited. Dumping of the grey-listed
materials requires a special permit from a designated national authority under strict
control and provided certain conditions are met. All other materials or substances can be
dumped after a general permit has been issued.

• A "reverse list" approach is adopted, which implies that all dumping is prohibited
unless explicitly permitted
• Export of wastes for the purpose of dumping or incineration at sea is prohibited
Extended compliance procedures and technical assistance provisions have been included,
while a so-called transitional period allows new Contracting Parties to phase in
compliance with the Protocol over a period of five years, provided certain conditions are
The 1996 Protocol to the London Convention
The objective of the 1996 Protocol is to protect the marine environment from all sources
of pollution. Contracting Parties shall take effective measures to prevent, reduce and
where practicable eliminate marine pollution caused by dumping or incineration at sea.
The purpose of the Protocol, which will eventually replace the Convention, is similar to
that of the Convention, but the Protocol is more restrictive:

• Application of a "precautionary approach" is included as a general obligation
• Incineration of wastes at sea is prohibited

The Protocol includes strong precautionary language in the general obligations and urges
parties to consider the polluter pays principle. It also calls for waste prevention audits to
assess alternatives to sea dumping.

The protocol supersedes the London Convention for those countries that have agreed to
become contracting parties. In effect, the 1996 Protocol when in force will replace the
1972 London Convention. The 1996 Protocol is a separate agreement that modernized
and updated the London Convention, following a detailed review that began in 1993.
States can be a Party to either the London Convention 1972, or the 1996 Protocol, or

Dumping at sea of waste generated on land and loaded on board specialized dumping
vessels had been carried out for several years by industrialized countries before
international rules to prevent marine pollution from this practice entered into force.

Implementation of the London Convention 1972 and of the 1996 Protocol thereto is very
much connected with finding solutions for land-based sources of marine pollution and
proper waste management in general. Nowadays, when a regulatory authority is
confronted with a waste problem, seeking an overall net benefit involving all
environmental compartments is preferred over a sectoral approach. With regard to an
industrial activity, the industry concerned will benefit from this approach in many cases
through reduced use of raw materials leading to lower costs, or even through the
marketing of the technologies or processes it developed to solve an environmental
Purpose and Objectives of the Convention and the Protocol

What are the Purpose and the Objectives of the London Convention 1972?
The objective of the London Convention 1972 is to promote the effective control of all
sources of marine pollution. Contracting Parties shall take effective measures to prevent
pollution of the marine environment caused by dumping at.

The purpose of the London Convention 1972 is to control all sources of marine pollution
and prevent pollution of the sea through regulation of dumping into the sea of waste
materials. A so-called "black- and grey-list" approach is applied for wastes, which can be
considered for disposal at sea according to the hazard they present to the environment.
For the blacklist items dumping is prohibited. Dumping of the grey-listed materials
requires a special permit from a designated national authority under strict control and
provided certain conditions are met. All other materials or substances can be dumped
after a general permit has been issued.

What are the Purpose and the Objectives of the 1996 Protocol?

The objective of the 1996 Protocol is to protect the marine environment from all sources
of pollution. Contracting Parties shall take effective measures to prevent, reduce and
where practicable eliminate marine pollution caused by dumping or incineration at sea.

Upon its entry into force the 1996 Protocol will replace the London Convention 1972.
The purpose of the Protocol is similar to that of the Convention, but the Protocol is more
restrictive: application of a "precautionary approach" is included as a general obligation;
a "reverse list" approach is adopted, which implies that all dumping is prohibited unless
explicitly permitted; incineration of wastes at sea is prohibited; export of wastes for the
purpose of dumping or incineration at sea is prohibited.

What are the potential benefits of becoming a Contracting Party to the London

These benefits may include:

• Enhanced protection of a Party's coastal zone and marine environment
• Access to technical assistance to aid marine environmental protection
• Control of marine pollution from disposal at sea activities
• Improved management of dredged material and other material disposed of at sea
• A forum to address scientific issues arising from disposal at sea activities
• A forum for consideration of disputes between Contracting Parties arising from
their disposal at sea activities
• Review of national waste management policies and practices

What are the potential costs to becoming a Contracting Party?

Costs vary among countries and depend on the amount of disposal at sea activities, but
specific expenditures are required for:

• Preparing enabling national legislation
• Administering a permit system which may include:
- Scientific review of applications
- Enforcing permit conditions through inspections
- Monitoring selected dump sites
- Compliance promotion and making applications available
- Issuing permits with stipulated conditions
- Record keeping for permit reviews, and
- Preparing annual reports on disposal and monitoring activities
- Attending meetings of the Parties from time to time
- Attending annual meetings of the Scientific Group

Can a country receive technical assistance from the London Convention, even if it’s not a
Contracting Party?

Yes, whilst all countries are encouraged to join the London Convention, technical advice
might be available to countries, which are not Party to the Convention upon their request.
Assistance through other Parties to the Convention could be made at the discretion of
their national authorities.

Interpreting the London Convention 1972 and 1996 Protocol

An evaluation is required to determine if a material is acceptable for disposal at sea and
the 1996 Protocol provides a system for this. Annex 1 of the Protocol, which provides a
list of materials that may be considered for disposal at sea. If the material is on the list,
consult Annex 2, which sets out a framework to assess the material for each specific case.
If the material is not on this list, it cannot be considered for disposal at sea and a land-
based alternative must be employed.

Which operations constitute disposal at sea under the London Convention?

Activities that would constitute "disposal at sea" are set out in the definition of
"dumping" under Article III of the London Convention 1972 and under Article 1 of the
1996 Protocol. In general, "disposal at sea" operations comprise activities whereby
materials taken onboard a vessel are transported to a disposal location at sea and dumped
into the marine environment. Disposal at sea by ship does not include:

• Discharges of wastes arising during normal operations of vessels (management of
these wastes are governed under the MARPOL 73/78 Convention)
• Disposal of wastes arising from exploration or extraction of sea bed mineral
• Placement on the sea floor for a purpose other than disposal (e.g. scientific
research devices

Can the cargo at sea be disposed in case of heavy weather and other emergencies?

In certain emergencies, disposal of cargo at sea might be necessary to save lives or the
vessel. The London Convention 1972 (under Article V) and its 1996 Protocol (under
Article 8) allow such practices. However, sea disposal might not always be a safe option.
It is the responsibility of the Master of a Ship to be aware of its cargo including its
hazards, e.g. reactivity with seawater, prior to loading it aboard a vessel.

National Authorities, on receiving an emergency call, should ascertain the material and
its hazards prior to advising sea disposal of cargo. When disposal at sea is allowed by
National Authorities in these situations the Office of the London Convention should be
informed as soon as possible.

What is to be done, if the ship’s cargo is spoilt?

Cargo might spoil due to water intake. This might not be an emergency case and a permit
would be required from the flag State administration.

Is dumping of offshore installations allowed?
The London Convention allows - in principle - the dumping of decommissioned offshore
installations, provided that:

• Land-based alternatives have been carefully considered, but ruled out;
• Material capable of floating debris or otherwise contributing to pollution of the
marine environment has been removed to the maximum extent;
• A dump-site is selected so that a dumped installation poses no serious obstacle to
fishing or navigation;
• The responsible national authority issues a dumping permit.

These minimum standards apply globally. Where States have adopted regional
agreements to enhance the protection of a particular regional sea, more strict standards,
including prohibitions, may apply (North-East Atlantic, Baltic).
Relationships between the London Convention and the other international
agreements and programmes

What is the relation between the London Convention and the Basel Convention?

The Basel Convention (1989) governs the control of trans-boundary movements of
hazardous wastes and their disposal. Its objective is to reduce such movements to the
minimum consistent with environmentally sound and efficient management of hazardous
wastes and to ensure that controls on the processing and disposal of hazardous wastes,
including dumping at sea, cannot be circumvented by export.

Almost all wastes labelled as "hazardous" under Annex I of the Basel Convention are
prohibited from sea disposal under the London Convention. Article 6 of the London
Protocol explicitly addresses export: "Contracting Parties shall not allow the export of
wastes or other matter to other countries for dumping or incineration at sea."

For States party to the Basel Convention accession to the London Protocol would not
impede but reinforce their policies to implement the Basel Convention, and vice versa.

What is the relation between the London Convention and the Law of the Sea Convention?

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982 (UNCLOS) gives a framework for the
determination of the rights and obligations of States relating to the oceans. Part XII
contains provisions with regard to protection and preservation of the marine environment.
Implementing the London Convention means also implementation of article 210 of
UNCLOS. Through article 210 States parties to UNCLOS are legally bound to adopt

laws and regulations and take other measures to prevent, reduce and control pollution by
dumping, which must be no less effective than the global rules and standards. The
London Convention, and after its entry into force, the London Protocol give these global
rules and standards. States parties to UNCLOS, which are not yet party to the London
Convention, could by acceding to the Protocol, give better effect to this basic obligation.

What is the relation between the London Convention and the MARPOL Convention?

The MARPOL Convention covers all the technical aspects of pollution from ships,
except (1) the dumping of wastes by ships and (2) pollution arising from exploration and
exploitation of seabed mineral resources. Careful attention has been given to distinct
between the operational discharges by vessels (MARPOL) and dumping of wastes from
vessels (London Convention). The prohibition of all incineration at sea under the London
Protocol, does not affect the incineration on board vessels of garbage which is allowed
under Annex V of MARPOL, provided all conditions of that Annex are met.

International Convention on Oil
Pollution Preparedness, Response and
Co-operation, 1990 (OPRC

International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and
Co-operation, 1990 (OPRC Convention)

Adoption: 30 November 1990
Entry into force: 13 May 1995

The objective of the Convention is to "strengthen the legal framework for the control of
environmental pollution by oil, in general, and marine pollution by oil in particular, by
providing a basis for preparedness, and for a response-capability, to deal with incidents of
oil pollution in the marine environment."

This convention aimed to establish a framework for international co-operation in
responding to pollution emergencies, enabling mutual assistance and maximum resources
in the shortest time possible. It supports the establishment of oil pollution emergency
plans for ships, offshore rigs, ports and oil handling facilities, as well as national and
regional contingency plans where appropriate. The Convention encourages all States to
develop and maintain adequate capability to deal with oil pollution emergencies.

As its name indicates, it deals with preparing for and responding to oil pollution
incidents, not only from ships but also from offshore oil exploration and production
platforms, seaports and oil handling facilities.

The Convention recognizes that in the event of pollution incident, prompt and effective
action is essential. This in turn depends on the establishment of oil pollution emergency
plans on ships and offshore installations, and at ports and oil handling facilities, together
with national and regional contingency plans as appropriate. The Convention is intended
to encourage this process and at the same time to establish a frame work for international
cooperation in responding to pollution emergencies which will enable maximum
resources to be mobilized as quickly as possible.

The Convention is likely to be updated in the near future to include hazardous and
noxious substances (known as the HNS Protocol that has not yet entered into force).


In July 1989, a conference of leading industrial nations in Paris called upon IMO to
develop further measures to prevent pollution from ships. The IMO Assembly endorsed
this call in November of the same year and work began on a draft convention aimed at
providing a global framework for international co-operation in combating major incidents
or threats of marine pollution.

Application of the Convention

Ships are required to carry a shipboard oil pollution emergency plan. Operators of
offshore units under the jurisdiction of Parties are also required to have oil pollution
emergency plans or similar arrangements which must be co-ordinated with national
systems for responding promptly and effectively to oil pollution incidents.

Under the Convention, ships are required to report incidents of pollution to coastal
authorities and the convention details the actions that are then to be taken. The
convention calls for the establishment of stockpiles of oil spill combating equipment, the
holding of oil spill combating exercises and the development of detailed plans for dealing
with pollution incidents.

Parties to the convention are required to provide assistance to others in the event of a
pollution emergency and provision is made for the reimbursement of any assistance
provided. The Convention provides for IMO to play an important co-ordinating role.

The OPRC Convention provides an international framework for cooperation in
combating and responding to major incidents or threats of oil pollution. The Convention

• To prevent marine pollution by oil, in accordance with the precautionary principle
• To advance the adoption of response measures in the event that oil pollution does
• To provide for mutual assistance and cooperation between States for these aims

The Parties to the OPRC Convention are required to establish measures for dealing with
pollution incidents, either nationally or at a regional and global level, in cooperation with
other countries. The convention calls for the establishment of stockpiles of oil spill
combating equipment, for the conduct of oil spill combating exercise, and for the
development of detailed plans for dealing with pollution incidents. Parties must require
that ships, offshore units, and seaports under their jurisdiction have oil pollution
emergency plans. Such plans are required for:

• Oil tankers of 150 gross tons and above, and other ships of 400 gross tons and
• Any fixed or floating offshore installation or structure engaged in gas or oil
exploration, exploitation, production activities, or loading or unloading oil (the
operators of offshore units could have arrangements similar to oil pollution
emergency plans, however, these must be coordinated with national systems for
responding promptly and effectively to oil pollution incidents)
• Any seaport and oil handling facility that presents a risk of an oil pollution
• Parties to the convention are required to provide assistance to others in the event
of a pollution emergency and a special Annex to the Convention provides for the
reimbursement of any such provided
• Ships are further required to report incidents of pollution to coastal authorities

Recognizing the importance of international co-operation in combating the dangers of
marine oil pollution, the Convention encourages all parties to enter into bilateral and
regional response agreements to prepare for, and respond to, oil spills. The Convention
establishes a voluntary mechanism for Parties to provide technical assistance in the form
of equipment and training to other Parties that request such assistance.

Under the Convention's reporting procedure on oil pollution incidents, all persons having
charge shall be required to report such incidents to the competent national authority,
which must assess the incident and inform other states and/or the International Maritime
Organization (IMO). Parties are called to establish national and, as far as possible,
regional systems for preparedness and response. They shall cooperate in pollution
response, research, and technical matters. Beyond the general obligations to cooperate in
research and technical assistance, no provision for disclosure of data is made, nor are any
evaluation criteria or time-scales given. Parties are required to ensure that current
information is provided to IMO response and preparedness systems as well as to evaluate
the effectiveness of the Convention together with the IMO.

The IMO has been designated to facilitate co-operation among the Parties in technical
and educational matters. The OPRC does not provide for a Permanent Secretariat, for a
regular meeting of the Parties, or for any program activity. The IMO Marine
Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) is responsible for coordinating and
administering all OPRC-related activities. The IMO also acts as a clearinghouse for the
information submitted to it by the Parties. The MEPC has established an OPRC Working
Group that is open to representatives from all IMO members, UN organizations, and
intergovernmental organizations in consultative status with IMO. The Working Group
reports to the MEPC and meets in conjunction with MEPC meetings.

The main features of the Convention

Oil pollution Emergency Plan

Ships will be required to carry detailed plans for dealing with pollution emergencies.
Masters of ships, port authorities and others will be required to report pollution incidents
without delay and the Convention defines the actions to be taken when a report is
received. If the incident is sufficiently serious other States likely to be affected must be
informed and details must also be given to IMO.

Response Systems

The Convention encourages the establishment of national and regional systems for
responding pollution incidents. These systems should include features such as a national
contingency plan, the pre-positioning of oil spill combating equipments, and exercises in
dealing with spills.

International Cooperation

This is a key feature of the Convention. Parties to the Convention agree to cooperate and
provide advisory services, technical support and equipment at the request of other Parties.
The financing of the costs involved is dealt with in an Annex to the Convention.

Role of IMO

IMO itself is designated to perform a number of functions. These include the provision of

information services, the provision of education and training programmes, cooperation in
research and development.