Short Maritime Glossary of Technical and Legal Terms Last updated 27-Aug-2014
A
The ASBATANKVOY was first published by A.S.B.A. in October 1977. A.S.B.A. did not develop the form but, as will be explained, took it over from Exxon, as the company was then known. Exxon had used the identical form, including the arbitration clause, since 1969 in its form known as the EXXONVOY 1969. This form was used not only by Exxon but by many third parties, both owners and charterers. These third parties found the form to be fair and that it balanced the commercial interests of both sides. Subsequently, Exxon developed a new substantially different charter and let it be known that it would no longer support, print or otherwise make available the EXXONVOY 1969. The trade did not believe the new Exxon charter party was fair. As a result, A.S.B.A. agreed to take over, maintain, and publish the EXXONVOY 1969 and renamed it, without any change in wording, the ASBATANKVOY. The form has remained, again without any change in wording, in general usage to this day.

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

Bail
Personal security provided by a defendant to the court to prevent the arrest of a ship or to secure its release from arrest. The security takes the form of a bail bond, in which the sureties submit to the jurisdiction of the court and undertake that if the defendants does not pay what may be adjudged against them or what is agreed by settlement, execution may issue against them as sureties for the amount due.
Breakbulk ships
Breakbulk ships, also called general cargo ships, are multipurpose vessels that transport cargos of nonuniform sizes, often on pallets. The inboard space on these ships is usually divided longitudinally by transverse bulkheads into a series of cargo compartments of approximately equal volume. The cargo on a breakbulk ship is handled through large rectangular deck openings (hatches) over each cargo space. Mechanically operated hatch covers are used to close the openings. Breakbulk cargo handling between pier and ship is usually done by means of cargo booms installed at each hatch end on board. However, an increasing number of breakbulk cargo ships are being fitted with revolving deck cargo cranes, instead of masts, booms, and winches (see photo). See also Breaking Bulk, below.
Source: ANALYSIS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS OF THE U.S. COMMERCIAL SHIPBUILDING AND REPAIR INDUSTRIES, 1985.
Breaking Bulk
At common law the general rule was that no dishonest or wrongful act whatever done by a bailee during the bailment could be a trespass or theft, unless in the case of certain acts which were held to destroy the identity of the subject of the bailment, and consequently the bailment itself. Thus, where a bailee of a package or bulk took things out of the package or broke the bulk, he so far altered the thing in point of law that it became no longer the same package or bulk which he received, and therefore his possession was held to become trespassory (Viner, Tresp. 468, 503; B. v. Fletcher, 1831, 4 Car. & P. 545; Possession in the Common Law, Pollock and Wright).
Source: ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND. VOLUME II. 1897.

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

Closed operations
Ballasting, loading or discharging operations carried out without recourse to opening ullage and sighting ports. During closed operations, ships will require the means to enable closed monitoring of tank contents, either by a fixed gauging system or by using portable equipment passed through a vapour lock.

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

Damage
… neither in common parlance nor in legal phraseology is the word 'damage' used as applicable to injuries done to the person, but solely as applicable to mischief done to property.
Smith v Brown [1871] 40 LJQB 214, per Cocburn CJ at p.218
Deviation
This is a technical term in commercial law, meaning the departure of a ship from the course of navigation which is either usual and proper, or one expressly agreed to be followed on the voyage, with reference to which the contract is made. The contracts under which deviation can take place are those of bottomry, affreightment, and marine insurance.(ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND VOLUME IV, 1905)

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

Equity
A principle of fundamental fairness and justice applied by admiralty courts and arbitrators in maritime disputes where the circumstances of the case warrant doing so. As used in maritime law, the term "equity" must not be confused with "Equity", being that body of law administered by a court of Equity such as the Court of Chancery in England.

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

Federal Judicial Circuits
The thirteen federal judicial circuits of the United States are as follows:
District of Columbia District of Columbia
First Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island
Second Connecticut, New York, Vermont
Third Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virgin Islands
Fourth Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia
Fifth District of the Canal Zone, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas
Sixth Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee
Seventh Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin
Eighth Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota
Ninth Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Guam, Hawaii
Tenth Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming
Eleventh Alabama, Florida, Georgia
Federal All Federal judicial districts

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

Gas Free
A tank, compartment or container is gas free when sufficient fresh air has been introduced into it to lower the level of any flammable, toxic or inert gas to that required for a specific purpose, e.g. Hot Work, entry etc
Gas-freeing
Means the introduction of fresh air into a tank with the object of removing toxic, flammable and inert gases and increasing the oxygen content to 21% by volume.
GOA OK
Time charterparty where BIMCO Piracy Clause had been specifically amended by deletion of paragraphs (a) and (b) which reflects the market practice where it was intended that the vessel could transit GOA without the owner’s consent. Such a vessel is marketed as "GOA OK", which gives her a competitive advantage over vessels for which such a route requires owners’ consent.
Hot Work
Work involving sources of ignition or temperatures sufficiently high to cause the ignition of a flammable gas mixture. This includes any work requiring the use of welding, burning or soldering equipment, blow torches, some power driven tools, portable electrical equipment which is not intrinsically safe or contained within an approved explosion-proof housing, and internal combustion engines.
Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)
H2S is a very toxic, corrosive and flammable gas. It has a very low odour threshold and a distinctive odour of rotten eggs. H2S is colourless, is heavier than air, has a relative vapour density of 1.189, and is soluble in water.

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

IG (Inert Gas)
A gas or a mixture of gases, such as flue gas, containing insufficient oxygen to support the combustion of hydrocarbons.
IG (Inert Gas) Composition
Nitrogen, N - 83%
Carbon Dioxide, CO2 - 12-14%
Oxygen, O - 2-4%
Other - less or around 1%
Inert gas plant
All equipment fitted to supply, cool, clean, pressurise, monitor and control the delivery of inert gas to the cargo tank systems.
Inert Gas System (IGS)
An inert gas plant and inert gas distribution system together with means for preventing backflow of cargo gases to the machinery spaces, fixed and portable measuring instruments and control devices.
ISGOTT 5th Edition
The Guide provides operational advice to directly assist personnel involved in tanker and terminal operations, including guidance on, and examples of, certain aspects of tanker and terminal operations and how they may be managed. It s is NOT a definitive description of how tanker and terminal operations are conducted.

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

Jason clause/ New Jason clause
A clause in American bills of lading which permits the carrier (supra) to collect general average contributions (supra) from cargo owners in situations where the carrier is at fault, but is not responsible for the cargo loss or damage under the Harter Act 1893 (supra) or COGSA (supra). The name originates in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in The Jason 225 U.S. 32 (1912), where the clause was upheld under the Harter Act.

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

Knot
One nautical mile (infra) (6080 feet) per hour, the maritime measure for speed at sea.

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

Laytime Definitions for Charter Parties 2013
Laytime and demurrage are fundamental to tramp shipping. Specialist terms which have evolved over the years have been extensively analysed by legal commentators and frequently tested in the courts. This has resulted in subtle distinctions where a choice of term or use of language can advance or delay the commencement of laytime and mean the difference between demurrage starting on Friday afternoon or the following Monday morning.

The Laytime Definitions for Charter Parties 2013 (Laytime Definitions), (follow link), have been developed to provide practitioners with a set of meanings of commonly-used words and phrases. The objective is to help reduce disputes about party intentions in a market where fixtures are often concluded on the basis of a recap message and listed amendments, without the exchange or return of draft contracts. The Laytime Definitions are available for incorporation into charter parties or possibly used as an agreed reference for dispute resolution. In addition, they can be used as an educational resource to assist industry entrants and others wishing to develop an understanding of the contractual and legal complexities surrounding laytime and demurrage.
Laches
A common law term derived from the Courts of Equity, referring to the failure of a plaintiff to assert his claim within a reasonable time, which alone or with other circumstances, causes prejudice to his debtor or to third parties, resulting in the dismissal of his tardy suit on equitable grounds.

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

M

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

N

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

OCIMF
The Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) is a voluntary association of oil companies with an interest in the shipment and terminalling of crude oil, oil products, petrochemicals and gas.

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

Purging
The introduction of inert gas into a tank already in the inert condition with the object of further reducing the existing oxygen content and/or reducing the existing hydrocarbon gas content to a level below which combustion cannot be supported if air is subsequently introduced into the tank.

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

Q

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

R

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

SIRE
One of the most significant safety initiatives introduced by OCIMF is the Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE). This programme was originally launched in 1993 to specifically address concerns about sub-standard shipping. The SIRE Programme is a unique tanker risk assessment tool of value to charterers, ship operators, terminal operators and government bodies concerned with ship safety.

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

Tanker capacity
10,000–24,999 DWT:General Purpose tanker
25,000–54,999 DWT: Medium Range tanker
55,000–79,999 DWT: Long Range 1 (LR1)
80,000–159,999 DWT: Long Range 2 (LR2)
160,000–319,999 DWT: Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC)
320,000–549,999 DWT: Ultra Large Crude Carrier (ULCC)

Petroleum Tankers
Class Length Beam Draft Typical Min DWT Typical Max DWT
Seawaymax 226 m (741 ft) 24 m (79 ft) 7.92 m (26.0 ft) 10,000  60,000 
Panamax 228.6 m (750 ft) 32.3 m (106 ft) 12.6 m (41 ft) 60,000  80,000 
Aframax 253.0 m (830.1 ft) 44.2 m (145 ft) 11.6 m (38 ft) 80,000  120,000 
Suezmax 16 m (52 ft) 120,000  200,000 
VLCC (Malaccamax) 470 m (1,540 ft) 60 m (200 ft) 20 m (66 ft) 200,000  315,000 
ULCC 320,000  550,000 

source: Wiki: Tanker (ship)
Threshold Limit Value (TVL)
Airborne concentration of substances under which it is believed that nearly all workers may be exposed day after day with no adverse effect. TVLs are advisory exposure quidelines, not legal standards, and are based on industrial experience and studies. There are three different types of TVL:

Time Weighted Average (TLV-TWA)
– The airborne concentration of a toxic substance averaged over an 8 hours period, usually expressed in parts per million (ppm).

Short Term Exposure Limit (TVL-STEL) – The airborne concentration of a toxic substance averaged over any 15 minute period, usually expressed in parts per million (ppm).

Ceiling (TLV-C) – The concentration that should not be exceeded during any part of the working exposure.
U

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

Vessel Size Groups (in deadweight tons)

Source: UNCTAD (2000) Review of Maritime Transport. Lloyd's Register information sheet.
Vessel Size Groups (in deadweight tons)
Major ship size groups include:
  • Handy and Handymax: Traditionally the workhorses of the dry bulk market, the Handy and the more recent Handymax types are ships with less than 60,000 dwt. The Handymax sector operates in a large number of geographically dispersed global trades, mainly carrying grains and minor bulks including steel products, forest products and fertilizers. The vessels are well suited for small ports with length and draft restrictions and also lacking transshipment infrastructure. This category is also used to define small-sized oil tankers.
  • Panamax: Represents the largest acceptable size to transit the Panama Canal, which can be applied to both freighters and tankers; lengths are restricted to a maximum of 275 meters, and widths to slightly more than 32 meter. The average size of such a ship is about 65,000 dwt. They mainly carry coal, grain and, to a lesser extent, minor bulks, including steel products, forest products and fertilizers.
  • Capesize: Refers to a rather ill-defined standard which have the common characteristic of being incapable of using the Panama or Suez canals, not necessarily because of their tonnage, but because of their size. These ships serve deepwater terminals handling raw materials, such as iron ore and coal. As a result, "Capesize" vessels transit via Cape Horn (South America) or the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa). Their size ranges between 80,000 and 175,000 dwt.
  • VLOC / ULOC: Very Large Ore Carrier / Ultra Large Ore Carrier. A specific bulk carrier class above 200,000 dwt designed to carry iron ore. The largest ships of the ULOC class, above 300,000 dwt, carry iron ore between Brazil and global markets (mostly Europe and Asia). Due to their size there are only a comparatively small number of ports around the world with the infrastructure to accommodate such vessel size.
  • Aframax: A tanker of standard size between 75,000 and 115,000 dwt. The largest tanker size in the AFRA (Average Freight Rate Assessment) tanker rate system.
  • Suezmax: This standard, which represents the limitations of the Suez Canal, has evolved. Before 1967, the Suez Canal could only accommodate tanker ships with a maximum of 80,000 dwt. The canal was closed between 1967 and 1975 because of the Israel - Arab conflict. Once it reopened in 1975, the Suezmax capacity went to 150,000 dwt. An enlargement to enable the canal to accommodate 200,000 dwt tankers is being considered.
  • VLCC: Very Large Crude Carriers, 150,000 to 320,000 dwt in size. They offer a good flexibility for using terminals since many can accommodate their draft. They are used in ports that have depth limitations, mainly around the Mediterranean, West Africa and the North Sea. They can be ballasted through the Suez Canal.
  • ULCC: Ultra Large Crude Carriers, 320,000 to 550,000 dwt in size. Used for carrying crude oil on long haul routes from the Persian Gulf to Europe, America and East Asia, via the Cape of Good Hope or the Strait of Malacca. The enormous size of these vessels require custom built terminals.
  • Source: THE GEOGRAPHY OF TRANSPORT SYSTEMS: http://people.hofstra.edu/geotrans/eng/ch3en/conc3en/shipsize.html

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

W

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

X

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

Y

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

Z

Sources:AICUSCSRI; ASSOCIATION OF SHIP BROKERS & AGENTS (U.S.A.), INC; BIMCO: ISGOTT,5th edt.; Inert Gas Systems, IMO, 1990; OCIMF; ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, 1897

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