The sixth edition of this book aims to continue to provide those involved in handling shipping disputes with an overview of the key issues relevant to multiple jurisdictions. We have again invited contributions on the law of leading maritime nations, including both major flag states and the countries in which most shipping companies are located. We also include chapters on the law of the major shipbuilding centres and a range of other jurisdictions.
As with previous editions of The Shipping Law Review, we begin with cross-jurisdictional chapters looking at the latest developments in important areas for the shipping industry: competition and regulatory law, sanctions, ocean logistics, piracy, shipbuilding, ports and terminals, offshore shipping, marine insurance and environmental issues. A new chapter on decommissioning is also included, which seeks to demystify this interesting and fast-developing area of law.
Each jurisdictional chapter gives an overview of the procedures for handling shipping disputes, including arbitration, court litigation and any alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. Jurisdiction, enforcement and limitation periods are all covered. Contributors have summarised the key provisions of local law in relation to shipbuilding contracts, contracts of carriage and cargo claims. We have also asked the authors to address limitation of liability, including which parties can limit, which claims are subject to limitation and the circumstances in which the limits can be broken. Ship arrest procedure, which ships may be arrested, security and counter-security requirements, and the potential for wrongful arrest claims are also included.
The authors review the vessel safety regimes in force in their respective countries, along with port state control and the operation of both registration and classification locally. The applicable environmental legislation in each jurisdiction is explained, as are the local rules in respect of collisions, wreck removal, salvage and recycling. Passenger and seafarer rights are examined, and contributors set out the current position in their jurisdiction. The authors have then looked ahead and commented on what they believe are likely to be the most important developments in their jurisdiction during the coming year.
The shipping industry continues to be one of the most significant sectors worldwide, with the United Nations estimating that commercial shipping represents around US$380 billion in terms of global freight rates, amounting to about 5 per cent of global trade overall. More than 90 per cent of the world's trade is still transported by sea. The law of shipping remains as interesting as the sector itself and the contributions to this book continue to reflect that.
The maritime sector continues to take stock after experiencing a bumpy ride during the past few years and, while the industry is looking forward to continued recovery, there is still uncertainty about the effects of trade tariffs and additional regulation. Under the current US administration, the sanctions picture has become ever more complex and uncertain.
With a heightened public focus on the importance of environmental issues, a key issue within the shipping industry remains environmental regulation, which is becoming ever more stringent. At the IMO's MEPC 72 in April 2018, it was agreed that international shipping carbon emissions should be cut by 50 per cent (compared with 2008 levels) by the year 2050. This agreement may lead to some of the most significant regulatory changes in the industry in recent years and is likely to lead to greater investment in the development of zero carbon dioxide fuels, possibly paving the way for phasing out carbon emissions from the sector entirely. This new IMO Strategy, together with the stricter sulphur limit of 0.5 per cent m/m coming in from 2020, is generating increased interest in alternative fuels, alternative propulsion and green vessel technologies.
Brexit continues to pull focus, with the withdrawal agreement reached between the EU and UK having been rejected three times and an extension of the Article 50 process granted until 31 October 2019. Much has been printed about the effects of Brexit on the enforcement of maritime contracts. However, the majority of shipping contracts globally will almost certainly continue to be governed by English law, as Brexit will not significantly effect enforceability. Arbitration awards will continue to be enforceable under the New York Convention and it seems likely reciprocal EU and UK enforcement of court judgments will be agreed.
We would like to thank all the contributors for their assistance in producing this edition of The Shipping Law Review. We hope this volume will continue to provide a useful source of information for those in the industry handling cross-jurisdictional shipping disputes.
George Eddings, Andrew Chamberlain and Holly Colaço