Boat Insurance Survey Dubai
Certificate of approval and Certificate of Seaworthiness
Please note some issuing authorities refer to a C of A as:
• A certificate of transportation;
• A survey certificate; or
• A towage certificate;
It depends upon the nature of the operation to which it applies
These documents are not the same thing and must not be thought to have any equivalence in fact or status. In marine law, especially in terms of vessel insurance cover and cargo insurance and the carriage of cargoes seaworthiness is a state in which the vessel must remain throughout a given period of time or a given voyage. The vessel and cargo must be fit to withstand “all the normal perils of the sea”.
If during the course of a voyage, some accident occurs which adversely affects this required state of seaworthiness, the vessel may be put into a port or place and undergo repairs. When the repairs are complete and the voyage is resumed, it is not unusual for the vessel to obtain a certificate of seaworthiness, which confirms that the vessel or cargo is once again in fit state to continue. The vessel and cargo owners and respective underwriters are thereby assured that their assets have the degree of protection required by both fact and law. Such certificates are issued by classification society surveyors, protection and indemnity club surveyors, local surveyors at the place of repair recommended by Lloyd’s (insurance market) agents or surveyors approved by them.
A CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL on the other hand is issued at the beginning of a voyage or operation and seaworthiness, in both its narrow legal and in a more general sense is one of the preconditions for the issue of such a certificate. The basis on which a C of A is issued is the fitness of the vessel or the operation to begin and execute the operation under the special conditions applied by the warranty survey company in addition to the ability to “withstand the normal perils of the sea” as they affect that vessel or operation. Therefore, any deterioration in the seaworthy state of the vessels or operation to which the certificate applies will make the certificate terms invalid. The “conditions” attached to a C of A, which often require certain things to be done or complied with should not conflict with the required seaworthy condition. If during the course of an operation for which a C of A has been issued, the vessel(s) suffer damage and they become unseaworthy then the conditions on which the C of A was issued may no longer apply.
As an example, a valuable cargo is loaded on a barge for tow from A to B. If the C of A specifies a particular route and the tugmaster takes a short cut, the C of A may thereby be invalidated and this may affect the insurance cover for the cargo even though both the tug and barge, remain seaworthy. If an accident occurs which damages the tug or barge during the course of taking the short cut then the underwriters of the cargo may avoid their liability in part or whole not least because damage to the tug or barge may make either unseaworthy and, therefore, invalidate the principal condition under which the C of A was issued.
Many C of As are claused with the words “this document is not a certificate of seaworthiness” in order to protect the issuer of the C of A and to remind the holder that he must not use it as evidence of seaworthiness in the future or during the course of the voyage for which he holds the C of A.
Grounds on which a Certificate of approval can be withheld
A C of A may be withheld if, in the” opinion of the attending surveyor or his base office (after consultation with and advice from their surveyor), they consider that the underwriter’s risk is compromised.
The examples show what constitutes grounds for withholding the certificate, broken down into categories of vessel. This is not a comprehensive list.
Jack-up barge – preparing to move from one location to another (field move):
1. Storm force weather forecast within 48 hours or less which will obviously hazard the vessel.
2. Deficiency or defect in watertight integrity which violates the loadline certificate conditions.
3. Calculated afloat stability condition exceeding allowable conditions as laid down in the operations manual.
4. Deficiency or defect in the towing gear which might hazard the vessel.
5. Cargo so poorly secured as to hazard the vessel.
6. Damage or defect to the jacking machinery or leg structure such that its ability to operate efficiently is in doubt.
7. Geological or formation condition at next or proposed new location which obviously hazards the vessel when loaded with the vessel’s weight (punch through risk).
8. Defect in towing vessel which results in it being considered unsuitable for the work of towing the jack-up.
Towing vessel – proposed vessel surveyed prior to use for a’job:
1. Defective steering, propulsion or winch system which seriously affects the ability of the vessel to operate
efficiently and perform the task envisaged.
2. Insufficient fuel, water or lubricating oil to perform the contemplated voyage.
3. Hull damage or defect affecting watertight integrity to the point where the loadline certificate may be considered invalid.
4. Lack of a spare towline.
5. Towline or lines so damaged or defective as to be considered unsuitable to carry out the proposed tow.
6. Inexperience of the master and crew which in the surveyor’s opinion makes them unsuitable for performing the work.
7. Lack of navigational equipment or communication equipment such that the vessel is “unseaworthy”.
8. Insufficient power to perform the task envisaged based on criteria set for that tow.
Cargo barge and load:
1. Damage or defect to the barge structure which is so serious as to compromise its watertight integrity to the point where the loadline certificate is invalidated.
2. Defect or damage to the towing gear so as to render it unsuitable for the voyage.
3. Insufficient intact stability as indicated on the “as loaded” calculations.
4. Cargo insufficiently secured or so poorly secured as to .be. a hazard when subjected to the “design storm” loads.
5. Barge overloaded beyond its statutory loadline.
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