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Wages of Crews not paid for 6 to 12 months or Slavery?

Came across this interesting article about “Slavery at Sea” which rekindle an event that happened more than 30 years ago where I was brought into the fray of identical situation. Would have thought that in this modern age of 2016, such incidents was a thing of the past.
This is my story.

Arresting a vessel via “in rem” action to compel payment of crew wages can be an easy and quick process. You peruse the evidence, consider the merits, watch the time bar, get all the relevant crews to sign affidavits and what-not, obtain information on the vessel and its whereabouts (though not as expeditious as present day). File the necessary court papers.
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Sea transportation and installation of FPSO topside modules – Legal Risk Shifting and Ideal Contractual Position for Owner

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Written by David Seah, LLB London  Managing Partner, www.Oseah.com david@oseah.com
Introduction
One of the significant activity during an FPSO conversion project is the fabrication, delivery and installation of the topside modules (“modules”) onto the deck of the FPSO. Apart from the installation which is normally within Shipyard’s scope, the fabrication and delivery could be undertaken by the Shipyard, Modules Fabricator or the Owner.
If the modules are fabricated outside the Shipyard by other Fabricator (locally or overseas) and Owner arranges for delivery of the modules from Fabricator’s yard (Point A) to the FPSO (at Point B) via sea transportation, the sequent of operation will basically be as follows:
Module Fabricator fabricates and conveys the modules to the wharf at its yard. Floating Crane lifts modules from the said wharf and load them unto a barge. Lashing and sea-fastening of the modules on the barge. Tug boats tow the barge from Point A to Point B. Upon arrival at Poin…

Drilling Rig Hire Contract - Are wasted spread costs considered “consequential losses” within the context of a contractual exclusion clause?

Transocean Drilling UK Limited v Providence Resources PLC [2016] EWCA Civ 372.
Transocean (Owner of the rig ‘GSF Arctic III’), entered into a drilling contract with Providence for the hire of a semi-submersible drilling rig. The contract was based on a standard industry agreement ‘LOGIC’ form, with agreed adaptions. There was a loss time of over 27 days due to defects in the rig and also a further 10 hour’s delay because of failure of a crew to tighten a blanking plug properly.
Consequently, there were various disputes between the parties pertaining to remuneration payable to Transocean in respect of what became known as the ‘disputed period’. Providence claim against Transocean for spread costs, comprising the costs of personnel, equipment and services contracted from third parties, which it alleged were wasted as a result of the delay.
At first instance, Mr Justice Popplewell (“the Judge”) held that Transocean was in breach of contract and that Providence was entitled to recover the s…

Ship Construction - Defects Warranty - Plausible claim or a tabula in naufragio for Buyer who has not given notice?

“The prospect of some heads of [warranty] claim having a 12 month time limit, and other claims having no time limit at all, and uncertainty as to which category specific claims fell into would be a goldmine for lawyers - and far removed from what the parties stated in their shipbuilding contract and what would have reflected their reasonable and objective intentions. Per Messrs Mark Hamsher, Christopher Moss and Lindsay Gordon (Arbitrators).
Neon Shipping Inc v Foreign Economic 7 Technical Corporation Co. of China & China Chang Jlang National Shipping Group Corporation Jinlin Shipyard [2016] EWHC 399 (Comm).Defective Cranes, Construction of Language, Time-bar, Sale of Goods Act - Implied Term - Fitness for Purpose.
Facts:
Shipbuilding contract for the design, build and supply of a 57,000 dwt bulk carrier governed by English law and containing an arbitration clause. 
Clause 13 of the contractual Building Specification provided under “General Description of the Ship” that the vessel was…

Shipbuilding Refund Guarantees governed by English law - Proceedings in London and China

Shipbuilding Refund Guarantees governed by English law – Chinese Court prohibits Bank and its overseas branch from making any payment to Buyer under the Bank’s guarantees – English Court recognized Chinese Court judgement but ruled that Bank must pay Buyer.   
Spliethoff’s Bevrachtingskantoor BV v Bank of China Ltd [2015] EWHC 999 (Comm)  
Buyer claim against the Bank of China (BOC) under two refund guarantees issued by BOC to secure repayment obligations of a Builder (Chinese Shipyard) and Co-Seller (together “Sellers”) in respect of two shipbuilding contracts for construction of two new ships identified as Hulls 38 and 39. 
Proceedings in London: Buyer terminated the contract in respect of Hull 38 as the ship were not delivered on time, and claimed repayment of the instalments. Sellers commenced Arbitration in London, disputed Buyer’s right to cancel and contended that Buyer’s cancellation was a repudiatory breach of the Hull 38 Contract.
Delivery of Hull 39 was also late and in view …

Shipbuilding Delays & Extension of time

“… delays in construction are prima facie the responsibility of the Builder, unless they are excused by a provision of the contract.”. Per Leggatt J at para 68.
In the case of Zhoushan Jinhaiwan v Golden Exquisite Inc & 2 others [2014] EWHC 4050 (Comm), Buyer cancelled the shipbuilding contracts as delivery of the vessels were delayed more than 270 days after the delivery date. Shipyard argued that the cancellation was wrongful as some of the delays was caused by Buyer’s own breach of contract which amounted to a repudiatory breach. On appeal from two arbitrations, Mr Justice Leggatt identified three types of delays in the contract. They werepermissible delay, non-permissible delay and excluded delay.
Non-Permissible Delay
Under Article III.1 (b) of the contract Buyer could deduct a specified sum from the final instalment for each day that the delivery of the vessel was delayed by more than 30 days but less than 210 days after the Delivery Date specified. 
Permissible Delay
Under Arti…

Shipbuilding & Offshore Construction Case Updates

Bluewater Energy Services BV v Mercon Steel Structures BV & 2 Others [2014] EWHC 2132 (TCC)
Claims arising under a sub-contract for the fabrication of a tower based soft yoke mooring system for installation as part of the development of the Yuri Korchagin Field in the Caspian Sea. 
“There are numerous issues which the parties have been unable to settle. The main factual disputes concern the causes of delay and liability for any delay and the events leading up to termination. There are many financial claims which depend on particular issues of contractual interpretation or fact.”   At Para 19.

Zhoushan Jinhaiwan Shipyard Co Ltd v Golden Exquisite Inc & 2 Others [2014] EWHC 4050 (Comm)

“In each case the Buyer has purported to exercise a contractual right to cancel the contract on account of delay in delivering the vessel.  In each case the Yard has sought to argue that the cancellation was wrongful on the ground that a relevant part of the delay was caused by the Buyer’s own breach…