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Maritime

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Maritime

There is one all-important document which regulates maritime transactions in the CEMAC zone. This is the “Merchant Marine Community Code” (the Code) of 22/07/2012. With the numerous maritime transaction matters the firm handles, this code has simply become a usual working document.
 
The firm’s attorneys give expert advice to maritime transporters on the registration and deregistration of vessels in Cameroon and nationality thereof, maritime mortgage, the responsibility of ship owners per the Hamburg Rules of 1978, ship arrest and eventual sale/auction or release, maritime engagement contracts, seamanship, maritime transportation contracts, maritime insurance, maritime disputes, maritime claims, salvage and collision.
 
In this regard the firm’s attorneys are also acquainted with the following IMO Conventions to which Cameroon is  party:
- The International Convention on Standard of Training Certification and Watch-keeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW95 Convention);
- The Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, as amended;
- The International Convention on Load Lines, 1966 (including Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966);
- The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (including Protocol of 1978 and Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974);
- The International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969;
- The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (Annex 1 to Annex 5);
- The International convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1969.
 
Located in the armpit of Africa, Cameroon is the sea-window of Tchad, Central African Republic and Congo to the world. The Douala seaport is very busy. The Kribi and Limbe seaports are under construction. With offices in Douala, H S & Co. is here to advise shippers in these landlocked countries who frequently find it too costly and unrealistic (if also impractical) to retain local attorneys to take care of their maritime interests away in Cameroon.
Cameroon has the natural advantage of having a coastline. For the foreign investor in Cameroon, the bulk of transportation of goods is by sea, so it is trite to mention here that the Hamburg Rules of 1978 (a UN convention on the carriage of goods by sea) ratified by the Cameroon government in 1993 and entering into force in 1994 shall apply, if read with the Code (supra).
 
This convention put back the whole issue of maritime transportation on a scale which tilts heavily in favour of the shipper as against the transporter. In the case of dispute the presumption of responsibility is on the transporter on whom the onus of proof lies.
 
Within the last couple of years the firm has arrest and/or released the following vessels: M/V RA NAM, M/V Swift Cro, M/V Hong Linh, M/V Alma I, M/V ALAYA, M/V Carina K, M/V Nina P., M/V Nikat, M/V Kastor P., M/V Am Nok Gang, M/V Thuleland, M/V Morning Star, M/V Gregos, M/V Ocean Star, M/V Master, M/V ALBUS, M/V KALISTI, M/V Xela, M/V Sea Success, M/V South Star, M/V Silver Star, M/V Oriental Moon, M/V VTC Light, M/V Xin Xiang AN, M/V Phuong Dong, M/V Holy Light, M/V Nadine Corlett, M/V Angel Gabriel, M/V Nara I, M/V Tonera, M/V CENTUARI, M/V BLED, M/ DELTA QUEEN, M/V ARTIC MARINA, M/V Swift Split.