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Thursday, 5 May 2011

The typical Flag of Convenience Shipowner's position on piracy and some answers . . .

Here are some lines that I have plucked from some typical shipowner / shipoperator / shipmanager dominated anti-piracy seminars, with some simple hard truths as many of us see them. Many of us who choose to take a wider view - why beat only the Goverment??


" It is astonishing and unacceptable that the shipping community has been left largely on its own to combat piratical attacks and to deal with their economic consequences. It is unacceptable because not only should we not tolerate crime at sea but also because we cannot be certain for how long the private insurance sector will be able to provide cover for the risk of piracy at sea for their Assured shipowners and cargo owners."

The typical FOC shipping community spoken about above has, for decades, chosen to evade taxation and all other forms of social responsibility including operating proper seaworthy ships, by hiding behind companies registered in tax-havens with minimal, if any, control or participation in the world community. Now that things are bad, the same people come crying, saying they want the governments they stole from to save them?


""Under the K&R cover, the main item of claim is the ransom payment and the incidental expenses (negotiation & delivery) up to the sum insured. Some K&R covers also include port expenses after the release of the vessel.""

Thank you very much. And the responsibility that anybody has towards the seafarer stuck onboard, if any, ends as soon as the ransom is paid. Hallejulah. And the devil take the hindmost.


""Complications will arise if cargo interests refuse to pay cargo’s proportion of GA on the grounds of a breach of contract by the Owners, e.g. for the failure of the carrier to exercise due diligence to provide a seaworthy ship. The issue has been discussed, for example, if the cargo interests allege that the carrier has failed to exercise due diligence to provide a seaworthy ship if he has not provided armed guards on board the vessel or if he has not taken appropriate steps to counter a piratical attack. The same argument would apply if cargo owners allege that any loss or damage to cargo was a result of the vessel’s unseaworthiness. e.g. as a result of the carriers failure to exercise due diligence to provide a seaworthy vessel if he has failed to employ armed guards or if he has failed to take appropriate steps to counter a piratical attack.""

So now you as a seafarer understand the basic fundamental - if your ship does not have armed guards, then complications shall certainly arise with all forms of P&I cover and/or other insurance covers.


""The position is different under American law which makes the payment of ransom illegal.""

Very interesting. In this day and age, that would mean any ship, owner, manager, master, crew, anybody who was involved in the pay-out of a ransom - has violated an American law. Think about this carefully the next time you fill out an application form for a US visa.


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