Avoidable appointment of armed guards
A ship manager was managing a tanker entering West African waters. The manager believed the terms of the charterparty provided that armed guards were to be appointed at the charterer’s expense. The manager duly appointed the guards for the voyage at a cost of US$ 170,000.
Commercial managers arranged two consecutive voyages. At the conclusion of the first voyage the ship discharged at the outer limit of the port and immediately returned to the load port in order to lift the next cargo. When the ship arrived at the load port the managers discovered the quick turn round had caused a problem
Ship manager out of date
A ship under management frequently traded to US ports. On 1st July 2017 new laws came into force in California, requiring vessels entering from international waters to deballast more than 200 nautical miles from the coast.
A commercial management agreement provided that the managers could not fix the ship for more than a specific number of days without approval. The managers failed to obtain express approval for a fixture which (at its longest permitted period) could extend beyond the authority they had been given.
Crew contract confusion
Yacht managers were instructed by the owners to terminate the employment of two crew members. Both crew members were French nationals employed by the owners. The managers gave the crew a month’s notice as required by their contracts which were said to be subject to “United Kingdom law”.
A pool manager fixed a ship on the basis that it could transit the new Panama Canal. The ships in that fleet were all of a size to be able to transit the canal and the pool manager believed that all the ships were equipped appropriately for Panama Canal transit.
A lifeboat was discovered to be missing by the crew at 07.00 one morning. It had evidently fallen overboard during the preceding night. The Master reported the lifeboat as missing and it was eventually found drifting off the port of Naze in Japan.
A crew manager acted for an owner operating in Norwegian waters. The crew manager arranged for crew from the Philippines. The crew manager was required, on behalf of the owners, to report the presence of the crew in Norway.
Devil in the detail
The commercial manager of a tanker arranged a voyage charter. The fixture was recorded in a recap message and was based on the BP Voy 4 form of charterparty with a large number of amendments and additional clauses.