Maritime insurer, North P&I Club, has lent its support to a number of charities, drawing attention to the welfare of seafarers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Shipping is a vital part of the international supply chain which keeps supermarket shelves stocked, and many crews remain at sea, unable to see their loved ones until restrictions are eased.

North P&I Club has ring-fenced £40,000 of its North 150 Fund for maritime charities to support crews through this difficult period.

One of the charities North is supporting is the Sailor’s Society, which offers helplines to seafarers experiencing loneliness, especially at a time when their next visit home could be some time away.

North is also providing mental health resources for seafarers and their families alongside the grants, which will help maintain supply chains at sea.

Paul Jennings, chief executive of North, said: “The impact of this pandemic is huge, and the welfare of seafarers at this time is an issue close to our hearts.

“As a 160-year-old business with our roots here in the North East, we’re passionate about the shipping legacy of our region, and determined to support those working in the maritime industry in challenging times.

“Our seafarers play a pivotal role in ensuring our supply chain keeps going. They are among the unsung heroes of this crisis.

“Without them, we wouldn’t have access to everyday essentials such as food and medicine. That’s why we’re doing what we can to show them our support.”

In addition to funding maritime organisations, North has also been supporting a number of local charitable initiatives like the Greggs Foundation, Newcastle United Foundation, Clothe & Feed and Ouseburn Farm.

Paul added: “From food parcels for families in need and help for the elderly and vulnerable, to emergency hospice funding and counselling for NHS frontline workers, we’re proud to be supporting the work of these vital charities in and around Tyneside.”


Japan P&I Club’s annual report on its condition surveys in 2019 found a large number of ships with deficiencies, but few with “defects warranties”, the most serious type of failure.

Japan Club conducts condition surveys through independent surveyors for both post and pre-entry vessels that have reached a certain age, in order to maintain the standards of the entered vessels.

“Due to the mutuality principle of P&I insurance, whereby the premiums entrusted to us by Members shall be used to compensate for loss or damage in the event of an accident, it is necessary to ensure that each Member has and is maintaining a certain standard of ships quality and management to assess the vessel’s potential risks, which could lead to P&I claims”, Japan Club said.

The condition surveys questionnaire includes not only the physical condition of the vessel but also the standard of operating manuals and the ship safety management system.

There were 118 vessels surveyed in 2019 policy year. Only 13 vessels had no deficiencies, while 99 were “with a deficiency”. A further six vessels had a serious deficiency.

Whenever there was a defect found, the club asked for an immediate and permanent repair to be conducted in order to prevent accidents. A “Defects Warranty” warns that there is a possibility of restriction of cover. A Defects Warranty is issued for deficiencies that are likely to lead to a serious accident.

Some of the defects warranties issued included:.

General cargo, dry-bulk or wood-chip carrier vessels

  • Failing the ultrasonic test for cargo hatch covers
  • Hatch cover cleats heavily corroded or stuck

Other vessels (common defects)

  • Oil leakage from several machine units in engine rooms
  • Signs of smoke leaking from the exhaust manifolds of an auxiliary engine.
  • A mooring rope (headline) in use was in poor condition with broken strands

The most common defects are associated with (i) hatch covers and (ii) machinery and equipment in the engine room. These trends have been unchanged since 2017 policy year.


Cyber Risks and P&I Insurance

The maritime industry’s reliance on computers and its increasing interconnectivity within the sector makes it highly vulnerable to cyber incidents.  Cyber poses a threat to all parts of the shipping sector; Cyber risks can be defined as the risk of loss or damage or disruption from failure of electronic systems and technological networks.How can cyber risks occur in the shipping industry and what is covered under the P&I Rules.

Cyber Risks and P&I Insurance

What are “cyber risks”?

• Cyber risks can be defined as the risk of loss or damage or disruption from failure of electronic systems and
technological networks
• All businesses rely heavily upon computer systems to sustain their operations, but these systems are
• Cyber risks comprise risks related to hacker attacks, virus transmission, cyber extortion, network downtime and data security breaches
• A maritime cyber risk can be defined according to the IMO Interim Guidelines on Cyber Risk Management as “the extent to which
a technology asset is threatened by a potential circumstance or event,which may result in shipping-related operational, safety or security failures as a consequence of information or systems being corrupted, lost or compromised”

How can cyber risks occur in the
shipping industry?

• Commercial ships are increasingly more dependent upon computers and computer software to operate and control various shipboard systems
• Safe ship operations are reliant on bridge systems such as ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System),AIS (Automatic Identification System) and GPS (Global Positioning System)
• Main and auxiliary propulsion systems rely increasingly on computers to operate efficiently
• Ship networks are connected to the internet As with computers ashore, shipboard
systems are vulnerable to cyber-attacks
• Hackers can take advantage of vulnerabilities in a network to access servers;this can enable hackers to access,remove and manipulate sensitive data
• Even a simple mobile phone charging process using a USB port in the ECDIS system can cause a virus to render a system inoperable
• If ships’ systems are attacked, the effect could be extremely perilous
• A cyber-attack could catastrophically impact the safe navigation of a vessel, both in terms of its ability to avoid hazards and in terms of its stability
and cargo operations
• A cyber-attack could lead to collision, personal injury, property damage, pollution or even to a shipwreck.

Are cyber risks excluded from P&I cover?
• No.As a general rule, P&I liabilities – which are set out in Rule 2 of the
UK Club Rules – are not subject to any exclusion of cyber risks
• Nor is the International Group Pooling Agreement subject to a cyber
risk exclusion
• Some maritime cyber risks, however, don’t come within the scope of P&I because they don’t arise from the
operation of a ship.An example is the risk of monetary loss where a shipping company is blackmailed to pay a ransom for the restoration of IT data
or restoration of IT systems that have been compromised by cyber-attack

Cyber Risks and P&I Insurance

Source UK P&I CLUB click to download full Q&A


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