Covid-19 Outbreak

Since the first reported case on 31st December, 2019, and its designation as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30th January, 2020, the outbreak of Covid-19 has spread worldwide. The outbreak is having a significant on-going impact on shipping and trade and has posed a number of contractual issues under charterparties, shipbuilding contracts and other commercial agreements.

We have prepared a selection of commentaries, guidance and resources to assist our Members in relation to these issues.

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Although there has been a welter of material generated in relation to the effects of Covid on a variety of shipping contracts, very little if anything has been said about its effects on the sale and purchase of second hand ships. That is surprising given the obvious difficulties which the pandemic created and continues to create in respect of the delivery of ships at the contractual place of delivery or within the contractual delivery range. It is also notable that no maritime body has attempted to draft a standard clause for incorporation into sale contracts. 

On 17th June, 2021 OFAC issued three new general licences, in order to supplement the existing authorisations for COVID-19-related transactions and activities involving Syria, Venezuela and Iran.

In January, 2020 the Supreme Court issued judgment in a test case relating to the interpretation of various insurance policies concerning business interruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Among the many serious knock-on effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the impact on crew has been a topic of particular concern within the shipping industry. Many ports have imposed restrictions or prohibitions on crew changes, leading to delays whilst joining crew are quarantined, or a need to deviate ships from their intended port rotation in order to effect essential crew changes. Aside from the clear humanitarian issues posed by this crisis, parties also need to consider the contractual impacts that may arise. Podcast also available.

新冠病毒疫情和船员更换危机 在新冠病毒疫情引起的众多严峻连锁反应之中,对船员的影响已经引起了航运业的特别关注。许多港口 对船员更换实施了诸多限制性或禁止性举措,这些举措可能导致船期因上船船员接受隔离而发生迟延, 或船舶为了实 必要的船员更换不得不做出偏离港口停靠计划得绕航。显然,船员更换危机带来人道主 义问题,此外,当事方还需要考虑船员更换可能对合同履行产生的影响。

As governments world-wide have grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic, implemented travel restrictions and increased border controls to insulate themselves from the risk of imported transmissions, the human cost to the shipping industry has been and remains significant.   BIMCO has recently developed a clause for time charterparties which attempts to address some of the problems that have been encountered. 

It has become apparent that the presence of COVID-19 on-board a ship poses a serious threat both to its crew and its ability to trade. Does this mean an infected port is unsafe and, if it does, what should owners and charterers do?

新冠病毒疫情和不安全港口 船上出现新冠病毒对船员的安全和船舶的航贸能力都构成严重威胁,这已经是显而易见的事实。这 是否意味着受疫情影响的港口都是不安全的?答案若是肯定的,那么船东和租家又该如何应对?

Following the advent of COVID-19, many ports have imposed quarantine restrictions on ships arriving from affected areas or with possible infection on-board. There have also been associated delays due to the closure or restriction of operations in certain ports or unavailability of cargo. Against this backdrop, we have seen various disputes as to whether hire should be payable for the duration of such delays. Can a charterer legitimately refuse to pay hire during periods of delay due to the virus?

新冠病毒对定期租船合同下租金支付义务的影响 新冠病毒出现后,许多港口对来自疫情地区的船舶或船上出现疑似感染病例的船舶实施了隔离管制措施。随着某些港口关闭或限制作业,或出现无法取得货物的问题,迟延问题随之发生。在这种背景下,围绕着迟延期间租金是否应付的问题出现了各种纠纷。租家是否有权拒绝支付因病毒引起的迟延期间的租金?


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