1) The York / Antwerp Rules are used in the assessment of what ?
The York /Antwerp Rules have been around for over 100 years (although regularly updated with the latest version being the York / Antwerp Rules 2004) to have an agreed method of assessment of General Average contributions required by all the parties who have benefitted from the general average sacrifice and/or expenditure. |
General average has been in existence for at least 2,500 years (long before insurance was invented !) and was created by the ancient Greeks. Today, it's method of apportioning costs is becoming increasingly strained, due to the appearance of massive containerships, often with hundreds, if not thousands of cargo owners.
2) The new "Malacamax" containerships have a maximum draft of ?
The "malaccamax" vessel is so named as it is the largest size to be able to navigate through the Malacca Straits. In order to be able to sail the full length of the Straits, it has to be able to to navigate across its shallowest part, so the maxium depth of a "malaccamax" vessel would be 25 meters Any deeper and it would become stranded. (See red circle in the picture on the left).|
An alternative to the Malacca Straits would be to go through the Sunda Straits (between the islands of Java and Sumatera), as shown with the dark circle on the map, but the Sunda Straits have a maxium of 20 meters, so are shallower than the Malacca Straits.
3) A GEARLESS vessel is one that .... ?
A gearless vessel is one that has no on-board cranes or derricks to assist with loading or undloading of cargoes. As such, (unless they have a conveyor system of self-unloading), all such vessels are dependent on the shore-side terminals to have adequate equipment to perform the loading and discharging. The larger vessels, such as "capesize" bulk carriers, tend to sail only between dedicated and sophisticated terminals at hub ports, so have no need for their own loading equipment. It is only the smaller vessels, which tend to be the "geared" type, as they may well have to sail to smaller, less sophisticated ports, where dockside equipment might be limited or non-existent ! The maxium SWL (Safe Working Load) of cranes that ships are able to carry tends to be much less powerful than shore-side cranes can be, so again, the larger vessels would have to spend considerably longer in port, if they were to be dependent on their own (weaker) cranes trying to load/discharge, than the powerful cranes that terminals often have. The large "Capesize" vessels are built to maximise the cargo carrying capacity and therefore do not want deck space used up with cranes that would be of little use.
4) Under the proposed new Rotterdam Rules, what major defence (currently available to them, under the Hague/Visby Rules 1968) will shipowners lose in the event that the cargo arrives damaged or is lost ?
It is still a matter of some debate as to whether the Rotterdam Rules (2009) will ever actually become used, despite the razzamatazz that surrounded their publication. Shipowners have succeeded in stalling their introduction to date and if any version is ever accepted, it will be a much "watered-down" version, especially in regard to the defences that shipowners can invoke, should cargoes be found to be damaged or lost.
Just because a cargo becomes damaged or lost, it is not automatically the fault of the carrier, as fault or negligence has to be proven in most cases. Even if the loss occurred while the goods were in the "care and custody" of the carrier, the carrier has historically always had a number of defences to protect him from a liability for that loss. Under the Hague Visby Rules (1968), there are about 18 separate defences. Under the proposed Rotterdam Rules, one MAJOR defence, often used by shipowners, has been removed, namely Negligence of Master, officers and crew. It would no longer be enough for the shipowner to prove he had done everything diligently himself; he would now have to prove that the crew did nothing negligently either. The shipowner is rarely (if ever !) on board, so cannot oversee the work done by all crew, all the time, so shipowners are understandably upset at losing this very important defence.
5)According to the UNCLOS Convention (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) how far out to sea does a country's national, territorial waters extend ?
Unless by doing so, a country would encroach on another country's national waters, then the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Seas states that all coastal nations have national waters extending out 12 nautical miles" from their coast. Where two countries "overlap", then special treaties and agreements have to be reached between the countries involved to decide on an equitable solution.
Great care should be taken NOT TO CONFUSE National waters (ie 12 n.m.) with the supposed "Exclusive Economic Zones", which under UNCLOS are a different thing altogether and much more open to political debate.
6) A commonly used hatch cover type for general cargo vessels ?
The MACGREGOR hatch cover is a rolling design, where the parts of the cover collapse upwards, like a concertina, either longitudinally or laterally, that allows for automatic opening and closing of the hatch cover in a safe and efficient way (see picture on the left).|
7) If your vessel is attacked by armed people at sea, and their motive is either political, ideological or religious, is is not an act of "piracy", but an act of what ? (Please answer in the box below)
The law of the sea is a mess when it comes to defining "piracy", as it appears that the motive for the attackers must be purely commercial. Under the UNCLOS Convention, such attacks must happen OUTSIDE any country's national waters (yeah, like that is always the case....!!). Also, there is a the curious English law that says that when 12 or more people commit a crime together in one place, that constitutes an act of "RIOT" (for which there are different penatlies and punishments...), so if you're attacked by 12 or more people, they are not pirates apparently, they are rioters ! (Does that sound more than a little absurd ?) - but if the MOTIVE of the attackers is at all political, or ideological or religious, then it is more correctly an act of "TERRORISM" for which again, there are different laws, punishments and penalties in different countries. How many pirates off West Africa or Somalia would ever admit to being purely commercial thieves? Invariably they will claim (if ever caught) that they were doing it for some "just" cause, which then begs the question as to what they were actually doing - a piracy act or an act of terrorism. - Great, isn't it ? !!
8) The new Lloyds Open Form for Salvage (LOF 2011) has sought to bring in which of the following changes ?
Actually, the correct answer is to say "All of the above" as it is the intention that all use of the LOF 2011 should be reported to Lloyds, whether the settlement will be amicably agreed between the parties, or whether it will need to go to arbitration. Lloyds then says that all such reported cases will be published on their website, thereby putting it into the (semi) public domain (providing you are a subscriber to their website). An updating of the accompanying LSSA (Lloyds Standard Salvage Abitration) agreement also requires that arbitrator's fees need to be included, as (apparently) some arbitrators have waited a VERY long time to get their fees paid....
9) With one exception, how far south are commercial cargo vessels normally allowed to sail (under Institute Warranties, American Institute Warranties and the International Navigating Conditions) ?
How far south vessels on commercial trade can normally go, is pretty much uniform among all the major navigating warranties and conditions, be they the Institute Warranties, the American Institute Warranties or the newer International Navigating Conditions (2003). All 3 have a line of 50 degrees south as the general limit, with the only exception being round the bottom of South America, where vessels can go slightly further south in order to round Cape Horn (or more likely, to navigate through the Straits of Magellan.)|
10) In your own words and in one sentence, please state what constitutes an "act of piracy".
There is no single satisfactory definition of piracy. It is generally agreed that it has to be with the motive of private financial gain, because if there is any political, ideological or religious motive, it would be (as mentioned above) an act of terrorism. As to how many attackers, (which might make it an act of riot) or what weapons they carry (which might make it an act of war) there is not international agreement on. Probably as good a definition as possible would be to say that an act of piracy is one carried out at sea, in territorial waters or rivers or lakes, by people outside the vessel (but could include passengers on the vessel), who seek to make personal financial gain from their act, with the ability to use force (whether such force is used or not) and carrying weapons that can threaten life.
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