Covid-19: Vessel delays could result in record losses, experts warn

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Admiralty Law experts have warned that players in Nigeria’s shipping and maritime industry could be seriously impacted by Covid-19 if the right steps are not taken to deal with several issues attendant to the pandemic.

Globally, contracts and other operational relationships have increasingly become the subjects of concern and potential disputes owing to COVID-19’s health and safety impacts on shipping as well as the impacts of measures put in place by national and municipal authorities to halt its spread.

It is estimated that the cost to shippers, vessel operators, charterers and even stevedores and terminal operators could run into billions of dollars.

Speaking ahead of a Webinar Briefing on the Nigerian shipping and maritime industry with the theme – “COVID-19: LEGAL ISSUES arising from VESSEL DELAYS”, Victor Onyegbado, Partner at Akabogu and Associates, a specialist Nigerian law firm in shipping and maritime law, disclosed that operators must continue to monitor the evolution of the pandemic and most crucially ensure that adequate ‘safe-guard’ provisions are negotiated and incorporated into all existing and future transactions.

He also advised operators to critically revisit their respective rights and obligations under different transactional arrangements. This he noted will enable such operators take informed positions regarding enforcement or renegotiation of the said arrangements.

The Webinar COVID-19: LEGAL ISSUES arising from VESSEL DELAYS hold from 11 a.m. to 12noon on Wednesday 22nd April 2020. Interested persons can register for it using the link https://forms.gle/PRsHMTMGcaeFjZKfA.

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