Unmanned ships are sailing onto the horizon and the Norwegian maritime cluster is uniquely positioned to take a leading role internationally in the development and commercialisation of this new technology. But is the legal framework keeping pace?
Most of those involved in the shipping industry will by now have a clear picture of the requirements under the IMO 2020 global sulphur cap on marine fuels. Attention has therefore turned to the steps that need to be taken to put those requirements into practice. Two clauses recently introduced by BIMCO are aimed at addressing certain contractual aspects of the IMO 2020 requirements as they apply to time charterparties.
Using LNG rather than fuel oil is one of a range of options available to owners seeking to comply with IMO 2020. Given that shipbrokers have long predicted the emergence of a two-tier shipping market with 'greener' ships commanding a premium over older less eco-friendly vessels, what then is the future for LNG bunkering and what challenges does it present?
The Norwegian Parliament has recently decided that Norway shall ratify the Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention and that the Convention shall be given effect not only in Norway's exclusive economic zone, but also in its territorial waters. The Norwegian Parliament has also adopted legislation to implement the Wreck Removal Convention into Norwegian law once ratified.
The Norwegian capital markets offers a flexible, time- and cost efficient process for equity issues (private placements). A key consideration for investors is, however, tradeable securities. The N-OTC can offer instant low threshold listings of shares with a minimum of reporting requirements.
There are a number of ways to make arbitration more attractive and efficient and the inherent flexibility of arbitration provides practitioners with the necessary tools to achieve just this aim without resorting to the development and adoption of further written "guidelines" or "best practices".
Ever since China strengthened its legal framework for bankruptcy proceedings in 2007, the number of Chinese bankruptcies has increased significantly. For the seller in a supply contract, protection against bankruptcies should be considered when drafting the contract and suitable protections built in, to the extent possible.
A recent decision of the High Court in London means that shipowners will have a decisive right in remedy against bareboat charterers who fail to maintain the class status of a vessel. It will also serve as a reminder to charterers of the importance of documentary obligations under such charters.
In a recent decision by the English High Court (Manchester Shipping Ltd v Balfour Worldwide Ltd & Anor  EWHC 194 (Comm).) two worldwide freezing orders in a multi-national shipping fraud case were upheld, rejecting the defendant's allegations of breaches of full and frank disclosure and provided useful confirmation of the standing of an intermediary charterer to claim for the full value of the hire.
Chinese sale and leaseback deals are now a well established financing option in the shipping sector. Whilst Chinese leasing companies have traditionally opted to go down the finance lease route, they are increasingly assuming more risk and opting for either a full operating lease arrangement or a hybrid structure adopting elements of both finance and operating leases.
Quiet enjoyment letters ("QEL"s) are often used where a ship, rig or other unit being financed is subject to a long-term charterparty to govern the inter-relationship between the owner, its financiers and the charterer. But what is a QEL and do they have any benefit for the lenders?
Wikborg Rein is launching a new digital service aimed at the shipping industry. The Shipbuilding Portal is a user-friendly online solution for the drafting of shipbuilding contacts based on the Standard Form Norwegian Shipbuilding Contract 2000, often referred to as "Ship 2000". It will simplify the drafting process and provide access to relevant practical information.