Reviewing and Understanding International Shipping Contracts

A practical In-house seminar delivering best practice, techniques and tips for documents used in the international sale of goods carried by sea.

Course Overview

This In-house programme focuses on the documents used in the international sale of goods carried by sea. These documents are of interest not only to shippers and carriers but also to sellers, buyers, bankers and insurers. The expert trainers will focus on the problem areas of the different types of contracts under the spotlight – the areas which normally lead to disputes and claims if they are overlooked or misunderstood.

The programme also covers some important related areas including the regulatory background and the role of the many international conventions that govern the Law of the Sea; competition law aspects; and cargo claims which will be the focus of an interactive workshop session.

Why your commercial team should attend take this In-house training? They will:

MASTER the basic principles of the most
frequently used contracts for the international sale of goods carried by sea
UNDERSTAND the main obligations under trading contracts
LEARN about the complexities of letters of credit
GAIN an understanding of the types of contracts that are used for salvage, towage and wreck
BECOME familiar with the insurance contract and the rights and obligations of the parties
GET UP-TO-DATE with the regulatory background and the various conventions governing the carriage of goods by sea
FIND OUT more about letters of credit and the documents that are necessary for payment
DISCOVER how to deal effectively with disputes which may arise in shipping contracts

Your next step is to call us now on +44 (0)20 7729 6677 or email us at or use our contact form and find out how we can help. There are no commitments, and if we cannot help our advice and recommendations are free of charge.

Sample Programme Day 1

Contracts of carriage – Bills of Lading

  • Functions of bills of lading
  • Reflecting the condition of the goods
  • Complying with the terms of the sales contract

The cargo conventions

  • Hague/Hague Visby
  • Hamburg Rules

Contracts of carriage – Time Charters

  • Commercial considerations
  • The right to subsitute
  • The obligation to substitute
  • Substitution by charterers

Contracts for salvage, towage and wreck

  • Salvage – the statutory background
  • Lumpsum or LOF?
  • Scopic and Article 14
  • Standard form towage and wreck removal contracts

Trading contracts

  • Goods and shipment
  • How good must the goods be?
  • Sampling clauses
  • Certificate final clauses
  • Extension clauses
  • Loading and discharge
  • Laytime and demurrage clauses
  • Force majeure clauses and frustration

Letters of credit

  • Relevant documents
  • Problems in string sales
  • The responsibilities of the bank
  • Strict compliance
  • Payment under reserve
  • Remedies for wrongful tender under the letter of credit

Contracts of carriage – Voyage Charters

  • Distinguishing the Voyage Charter from other forms of contracts of carriage
  • The standard forms and standard clauses
  • The risks for the “owner” – managing the key rights and obligations of the “owner”
  • The risks for the charterer – managing the key rights and obligations of the charterer
  • Piggy in the middle – the position of the voyage charterer in a chain of contracts of carriage

Questions and discussion

Close of day one

Sample Programme Day 2

The insurance contract
  • Making the contact
  • Insured perils
  • The claims
  • P&I

Cargo claims – an interactive workshop
An examination of the implications of cargo claims for all the parties to the various contracts.

Contracts of affreightment

  • Main characteristics
  • Nomination procedure and potential problems
  • Nomination clauses
  • Working hours
  • Nomination failure

Competition law and shipping contracts

  • A review of competition law issues in the shipping world paying particular attention to shipping contracts
  • Market sharing
  • Pricing
  • Information exchange
  • Terms in Charter Parties, Consortia, Liner Conference and Port Services Agreements

Contracts for the international sale of goods

  • Incoterms, international conventions and trade associations
  • Types of international sales contracts – CIF and FOB
  • Implied terms including sale of Goods Act terms
  • Passing of property and risk

Dealing with disputes in shipping contracts

  • Litigation, arbitration or ADR? The agony of choice
  • May the best man win – choice of forum
  • Costs – unavoidable but manageable
  • Challenges to jurisdiction and other spoiling tactics
  • How did it come to this? The scope for appeals

Questions and discussion

Close of day one

Recommended Trainers

Susan Hawker is Principal Lecturer in International Trade and Shipping law at London Metropolitan University, where she is involved with post-graduate teaching and is Course Director of the Post-graduate Diploma in Maritime Law. After qualifying as a barrister, Susan worked in P & I before going into academia. She currently has visiting lectureships with Cass Business School, City University School of Engineering, Copenhagen Business School and BCA Athens. Susan is also Associate Professor on the London Law Programme of the University of
Notre Dame (South Bend, Indiana, the US).

Jeffrey Blum is Managing Director of Interlink International Trading (UK) Ltd. He has been involved in shipping and trading since 1973. He has worked in London and abroad with shipbrokers, charterers, shipowners and ship operators, gasoil futures brokers, commodities traders and Lloyd’s underwriters. Jeffrey is a long-term Supporting Member of the London Maritime Arbitrators Association and has been an arbitrator since 1994. During the mid 1980’s and since 1999 he is an active elected member of the Committee of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers London Branch, of which he is now the Chairman and the Joint Education Officer.

Nigel Cooper is a member of Quadrant Chambers in London. Nigel practices in the fields of commercial, shipping and insurance law, he appears before the Commercial and Admiralty Courts, in arbitration and increasingly before the appellate courts. Nigel has acted as a mediator and as a party’s representative in mediations. He has experience of public inquiries having appeared for the Government in the three most recent shipping formal investigations.

Graham Harris is a partner in the London office of Thomas Cooper, and a member of their casualty response team. He specialises in commercial shipping disputes and is a recognised leader in his field. Graham has experience of a wide variety of shipping problems, from issues arising under charterparties and Bills of Lading to groundings, fires and cargo claims. He also advises on marine insurance disputes as well as ship sale and purchase and building disputes.

Marjorie C. Holmes is a partner in the London office of Reed Smith where she specialises in competition law in several sectors including aviation, marine, insurance, construction, sport and telecoms. Marjorie has represented companies in a number of important investigations by the European Commission and the UK Competition Authorities. She also acts as legal adviser to several trade associations.

Rebecca King trained at Norton Rose, where she qualified into their Maritime, Trade and Energy litigation team and spent some time working in Greece. She joined Holman Fenwick Willan in 2006 and her main practice area is shipping litigation. She has also advised on disputes relating to marine insurance, sale of goods and commodities and the drafting of dispute resolution clauses. Rebecca has extensive experience of international arbitration.

Julian Morgan is Principal and Partner of Morgans. He was called to the Bar in 1977 and then undertook twelve months pupilage at a specialist shipping chambers. In 1979 he joined the FD&D department of The West of England P&I Club, where he worked until 1985 when he left to join Watson, Farley & Williams (WFW), solicitors. At the end of 1990 he left WFW to establish the shipping group at Edwin Coe, solicitors, he then left in 2006 to found Morgans.

Andrew Rigden Green is an associate in shipping litigation, at Stephenson Harwood. His experience includes investigations in difficult jurisdictions (including Liberia, Congo and Russia), freezing orders and anti-suit injunctions, dispute resolution (arbitration, litigation and mediation) and non-contentious commercial shipping (advising on P&I Club Rules, charterparties, contracts of affreightment, offshore construction and Arctic shipping). He has also been involved in disputes in the Black Sea and oil and gas projects in India, the North Sea and the Arctic.

Continuing professional development

This course qualifies for the following CPD programmes:

  • Certificate

Bespoke training

We can customise this course to meet the requirements of your organisation. Contact us to discuss your training requirements.

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Previous customers include...

  • Andrew Jackson Solicitors
  • Atlas Bulk Shipping
  • Compania Sud Americana de Vapores
  • GEFO Gesellschaft fur Oeltransporte mbH
  • Hapag-Lloyd AG
  • J Muller Breakbulk Terminal GmbH & Co KG
  • K Line Europe Ltd
  • Neste Oil OYS
  • Nigeria LNG Ltd
  • Norgas Carriers
  • OSG Ship Management (UK) Ltd
  • Royal Artic Line AS
  • Sloman-Neptun
  • The Bristol Port Company
  • Tschudi Shipping Company Ltd