Shipping & Transport updates

Denmark

Contributed by WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
Court finds that charter agreement was binding despite failure to perform conditional test of vessel
  • Denmark
  • 20 January 2021

The Maritime and Commercial Court recently ruled that a charter agreement was binding on a charter even though a conditional test of the vessel was not performed. This decision shows that a party which wishes to enter into a conditional chartering agreement must formulate the condition clearly and, in negotiations on the conclusion of the agreement, maintain the reservation in question.


Malta

Contributed by Fenech & Fenech Advocates
Maritime Labour Convention amendments incorporated into Maltese law
  • Malta
  • 20 January 2021

Malta recently implemented the amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 into domestic law. As one of the largest ship registries in the world, these changes will have a significant impact on the world's shipping workforce. The new amendments can be divided into two parts introduced in the form of standards: one on seafarers' employment agreements and one on wages. A third amendment, which refers to specific entitlements, was introduced in the form of a guideline.


Norway

Contributed by Wikborg Rein
Beefing up emission and fuel standards in the Arctic
  • Norway
  • 20 January 2021

The 75th session of the International Maritime Organisation Marine Environment Protection Committee recently approved a ban on the use and carriage of so-called 'heavy fuel oil' in the Arctic. The proposed amendments are expected to be formally adopted in June 2021. However, more stringent standards have already been proposed by the Norwegian government for the area surrounding Svalbard.


USA

Contributed by Wilson Elser
Congress confirms that Jones Act applies to offshore wind farm activities
  • USA
  • 20 January 2021

The US wind energy sector has been growing, with a substantial focus on offshore wind farm development. One significant factor in such developments is the regulatory requirements applicable to vessels involved in the construction and maintenance of the offshore wind farm structures. Until recently, a significant question remained unresolved: whether the Jones Act coastwise trade requirements apply to vessels involved in wind farm construction.


United Kingdom

Contributed by Wikborg Rein
Imposing conditions to contractual consent – is it reasonable?
  • United Kingdom
  • 20 January 2021

The Commercial Court recently provided guidance on the interpretation of consent provisions in a transport and processing agreement where such consent was not to be "unreasonably withheld". The issue of withholding consent arises regularly under long and short-term shipping charterparties. A key takeaway from this judgment is that to establish whether consent may be withheld, the parties' bargain as a whole must be considered and not the consent provision in isolation.