The ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine are causing headaches for many of our retainer clients operating in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov.
The latest news is that Ukrainian and Russian waters in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov have just been added to the areas listed by the Joint War Committee. That has ramifications under many charters where there is a requirement for Charterers to pay extra war risk premium.
Joe Biden says a Russian invasion of Ukraine is a distinct possibility. The British foreign secretary Liz Truss says it’s highly likely. Russian military exercises continue to take place in the Black and Azov seas. The key question, however, is whether it is reasonable for a Master to refuse to comply with the time charterers’ orders to load at a port in the hot zone under CONWARTIME 2013 on the basis that the threat of war may expose the ship, cargo and crew to danger?
One of the benefits of our retainer service is that clients get our views on real time problems when they are in the eye of the storm and need to make quick decisions. There are also no hourly rates and no unexpected bills. Our job under the retainer is to keep clients out of trouble insofar as we can and avoid legal disputes.
Constantin von Hirsch