FAQ on “Circular on General Business License of March 17, 2022 – Declaration of ship calls in Russia and transiting Russian territorial waters”
On May 18, 2022, we published a circular explaining that members must now report to the club all ship calls to Russia and transiting Russian territorial waters, as well as the regulatory basis for this new requirement. This article outlines some of the frequently asked questions we have received about the flyer. The information below represents the club’s best understanding of the legal obligation imposed on it, its members and other policyholders under the UK-Russia (penalties) (leaving EU ) and its accompanying General Commercial License (“GTL”). from time to time.
Q1: Why do the clubs of the international group ask their members and other insured persons to provide information relating to calls in Russian ports or transits through Russian territorial waters?
As explained in the circular, it is only legal for Standard Club, as an insurer operating in the UK, to provide insurance to ships calling at Russian ports or transiting Russian territorial waters if, among other things , we maintain records of the information described in the Circular. We can only comply with this archiving obligation if the information is provided beforehand by the members and the other insured parties. As explained in the Circular, if this information is not provided, coverage may be compromised.
Q2: Do members have to report stopovers and transits from March 17, 2022?
Yes. A declaration must be made if, as of March 17, 2022, a listed vessel calls at a Russian port or transits through Russian waters.
Q3: Why is it mandatory to report calls and transits from March 17, 2022 when the license is dated April 8?
The original GTL was issued on March 17, but the UK authorities decided to widen its scope to include aviation, so the original GTL was revoked on April 8 and on the same day the current GTL has been issued. However, the obligation to keep a register of calls and transits began on March 17 and continues.
Q4: In addition to The Standard Club UK Limited, does the circular apply to members registered with The Standard Club Ireland DAC and The Standard Club Asia Limited?
Yes. While The Standard Club Ireland DAC is a company incorporated in a European Union country, it has a branch in the UK which is subject to UK law. The Settlements described in the Circular will also affect the club’s reinsurance arrangements. In addition, while The Standard Club Asia Limited is incorporated in Singapore, it is reinsured by another subsidiary, The Standard Club UK Limited, which is subject to UK law.
Q5: Does the circular apply to Russian vessels engaged in domestic trade?
No, this only applies to ships from third countries calling at Russian ports or ships transiting through Russian territorial waters.
Q6: I don’t know what information to provide.
We have set out in the spreadsheet accompanying the circular the minimum information that a member or other insured must provide within one month of a stopover in a Russian port or a transit through Russian waters. Most, if not all, of this information should be available to the carrier by the end of this period. As indicated in the spreadsheet, the end date of the trip can be estimated if the trip has not been completed by the time the information is provided. If a member sincerely considers that they cannot fill in a particular field in the spreadsheet, then they should specify “N/A” or similar, but it would be wise in this case for the member to keep their own record of the reason for which he could not provide the information. If the vessel is in ballast at the relevant time, this should be specified in the spreadsheet under ‘cargo’.
Q7: Should I specify the consignee as the consignee?
Depending on the nature of the bill of lading or other transport document, the consignee may change throughout a voyage and up to the point where the cargo is delivered. When cargo is delivered without presentation of a bill of lading, the member may not know for some time (if ever) who the ultimate consignee was under a bill of lading.
Member may only provide the Club with accurate information available at the time the information is required to be submitted. This may be the original named consignee specified in the bill of lading or other transport document at the time it was issued (or the consignee may simply be described as “to order”). Or it may be the bearer of the bill of lading by endorsement at the time the bill of lading is delivered to the carrier (ie the receiver).
Q8: My charterer issues bills of lading. What should I do?
A member may only provide the club with information that they have at the time such information is required to be submitted. However, in the event that a member’s statement comes under scrutiny, the member may have to justify why they were unable to complete the fields left blank on their spreadsheet. Members often receive copies of bills of lading issued in its name or charterer bills of lading, even if they are not involved in issuing them. Cargo manifests and other typical shipping records will provide much of the information required under the circular.
Q9: Does the name of the vessel owner mean the registered legal owner?
Yes. It does not refer to a disposing owner or beneficial owner.
Q10: Why can’t the club collect this information by other means, for example from AIS data?
The possibility of collecting information from the AIS to avoid imposing new requirements on members was considered. Although AIS software can produce much of the information required under UK regulations, the data may be inaccurate and would not cover freight on board.
Q11: Is it necessary to provide all the detailed information in the circular and accompanying spreadsheet template?
Yes. The information requested is required by UK regulations.