The Shipping Law Review: Editors' Preface
The aim of the eighth edition of this book is 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, environmental issues, decommissioning and ship finance.
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. This year, we welcome Costa, Albino & Lasalvia Sociedade de Advogados as the new contributors of the chapter focusing on maritime law within Brazil. There are also two new jurisdictions in this edition – Israel (Harris & Co) and Mexico (Adame Gonzalez De Castilla Besil) – and Portugal makes a return, with Andrade Dias & Associados as the new contributors.
The shipping industry continues to be one of the most significant sectors worldwide, with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimating that the operation of merchant ships contributes about US$380 billion in freight rates within the global economy, amounting to about 5 per cent of global trade overall. Between 80 per cent and 90 per cent of the world's trade is still transported by sea (the percentage is even higher for most developing countries) and, as of 2019, the total value of annual world shipping trade had reached more than US$14 trillion. Although the covid-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on the shipping industry and global maritime trade (which plunged by an estimated 4.1 per cent in 2020), swift recovery is anticipated. The pandemic truly brought to the fore the importance of the maritime industry and our dependence on ships to transport supplies. The law of shipping remains as interesting as the sector itself and the contributions to this book continue to reflect that.
Finally, mention should be made of the environmental regulation of the shipping industry, which has been gathering pace this year. At the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee, 72nd session (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 2050. This agreement will now lead to some of the most significant regulatory changes in the industry in recent years, as well as much greater investment in the development of low-carbon and zero-carbon dioxide fuels. The IMO's agreed target is intended to pave the way for phasing out carbon emissions from the sector entirely. The IMO Initial Strategy, and the stricter sulphur limit of 0.5 per cent mass/mass introduced in 2020, has generated significant increased interest in alternative fuels, alternative propulsion and green vessel technologies. Decarbonisation of the shipping industry is, and will remain, the most important and significant environmental challenge facing the industry in the coming years. Unprecedented investment and international cooperation will be required if the industry is to meet the IMO's targets on carbon emissions. The 'Shipping and the Environment' chapter delves further into these developments.
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.
Andrew Chamberlain, Holly Colaço and Richard Neylon