Pilotage in Cyprus – Important Reminders to Owners

EMCO regularly handles cases in Cyprus involving allision, collision and wash damage claims occurring whilst vessels are under pilotage.  In this article we highlight some issues and provide advice for Owners to take into account when vessels are under pilotage.

The Cyprus Ports Authority Regulations make it is clear that the pilotage (and tug) service is at the risk and expense of the vessel.  In addition, pilotage is compulsory when entering and leaving Cypriot ports.

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The expansion of the Suez Canal

The Suez Canal first opened for navigation on 17th November 1869 with a depth of around only 8 meters, allowing ships with a maximum draft of 22 feet to transit.

The Canal however, has been expanding in order to accommodate the ever increasing vessel sizes including the ultra-large ships. Just recently the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) completed its expansion project opening a new waterway alongside the original Canal, which has increased capacity and eased congestion.  According to the SCA’s website, the Canal can now accommodate 61.2%, 92.7% and 100% of the world’s tankers, bulk carriers and containerships fleets, respectively.  On 5th September 2017, the SCA announced that the newly-expanded canal set a new record of passage and tonnage crossings, recording a total of 157 ships.  Amongst the biggest vessels transiting the Canal recently were the world’s third and second largest containerships: “MOL TRIUMPH” and “MADRID MAERSK”.  It takes between 12 and 16 hours for ships to transit the Canal, and approximately 76 ships transit the canal on a daily basis.

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Arresting a vessel in Lebanon – Overview

The governing law?

The arrest of ships in Lebanon is regulated by the Code of Civil Procedures which grants any creditor the right to apply for a conservatory seizure of the debtor’s assets in order to obtain security for its claim.

Lebanon is not a party to the International Convention on the Arrest of Seagoing Ships of 1952 or 1999, but is a party and has ratified the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law relating to Maritime Liens and Mortgages of 1926 enacted in Articles 48-61 of The Merchant Shipping Act.

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Want to ensure that Charterers pay their hire?

It has not been unknown in recent years for some of the largest and well known Charterers to fail with little, if any, warning.  When this happens, Owners who are owed money by their Charterers, for example for unpaid hire, may find themselves with limited options for the recovery of their losses.  Where the Charterers are insolvent or have no assets, it is likely that recovery will be remote.The following steps should be taken into consideration to ensure that the Charterers pay their hire and Owners are protected as much as possible:

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Liquefaction: shipping industry response*

The dangers associated with the carriage of solid bulk cargoes are undoubtedly one of the decade’s hot issues in the shipping industry. Some of the titles that circulated over this decade convey the alarming threats that have shaken the dry cargo-shipping sector, such as: “Cargo liquefaction still a problem”, “Club move to stop liquefaction losses”, “Crew safety should come first”, “Dealing with the unusual”, “Drive to cut liquefaction losses”, “Handle with care” and “Preventing liquefaction tops concerns”, to name a few.

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Further to our update of 7th February 2017 on the privatisation of Limassol Port, the latest information on the situation is as follows:

  • On 9th February 2017, EuroGate (the majority owner of the new terminal operator) announced that it would not charge for storage from the day it took over the container terminal on 29th January, until 19th February 2017.  It has been reported by the local press that the new operator is also seriously looking at the new increased non-regulated tariffs they have imposed, and are revaluating these.  It stated that the productivity of the terminal is already better and will continue to improve.

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