Spica Vietnam


2 Phung Khac Khoan St
District 1
Ho Chi Minh City

Phone: (84) 28-3823 2527
Fax: (84) 28-3823 2530
Email: claims@spica.com.vn

After Office Hours Contact:

Eske Munk
(84) 93 188 7196

Le Ha Binh
(84) 903-831 442

Nguyen Ngoc Hien
(84) 903 601 876

Nguyen Duc Tam
(84) 906 614 916

CORONA Virus – updated  11 August.

The maritime authorities of Vietnam have formally imposed a quarantine period of 14 days that apply to ships that have called a “Coronavirus epidemic area”. In practice all vessels are subject to the same health and quarantine tests regardless of where they have been before calling Vietnam. Authorities request to see a list of the last ten ports called.

All vessels, irrespective of where their last call was, are now subject to increased sanitary checks and submission of health declaration when they enter Vietnamese ports. Strict control is being applied on crews, permission not granted for crew change, disembarkation and embarkation and this is enforced vigorously.

We recommend that ships due to call Vietnam should liaise very closely with their agents as the agents will have the most recent information about measures implemented and the enforcement of same.

Update on the situation concerning arrest of vessels in Southern Vietnamese Ports

The IG P&I Clubs and other vessel liability insurers will be aware of Vietnam’s reputation as a hotbed for cargo claims and the frequent arrests that follow. The problems that ships, and in particular dry bulk trades experience, have been described comprehensively by Spica Vietnam in previous Loss Prevention notices and updates. Whilst there has been some variation in frequency of arrests, the problem persists unabated until now, especially in South Vietnam.

In South Vietnam the Maritime Authorities of Vung Tau (VTMA) oversee some of Vietnam’s busiest seaports such as Cai Mep and Phu My, and the larger anchorage area off the coast of Vung Tau. Many Ship owners and Clubs will be familiar with the pattern of arrests in the jurisdiction of Baria Vung Tau.

The VTMA convened a meeting on 06 October 2020 with the purpose of addressing the incessant issue of arrests of ships. The background of the meeting is a concern that the number of arrests in the jurisdiction has the potential to negatively affect the investment and operational environment of Baria Vung Tau Province.

The meeting saw the participation of stakeholders and interested parties including but not limited to the Maritime Authority itself, cargo importers/receivers, cargo insurers, surveyors, vessel agents and lawyers and importantly the court of Baria Vung Tau. During the meeting the various parties were given a chance to explain their views and the rationale behind their positions. Whereas criticism of the current practices was delivered by vessel agents and lawyers one important take away from the meeting, is that the representatives of the Court participated and had an opportunity to listen to the calls of other participants.

We feel that the meeting is an encouraging development, it showing an increasing awareness of the practical problems and economic damage, the recurrent arrests cause to ship owners and the wider maritime community in South Vietnam.

We wish to mention however, that no revisions to the legislative framework allowing for arrests have been made, and it therefore remains the case that a 0.5 % trade allowance is not recognized in law.

Whilst we are hopeful that the Court will exercise restraint in granting arrest orders and that Club Letters of Undertaking will come to be accepted and recognized widely as security, we are concerned that that the underlying problematic practices employed by the cargo interests will most likely not change. It is these deliberate attempts to manipulate draft figures and exert unreasonable pressure on the Masters, that creates the basis for fanciful shortage claims in the first instance, and without the presence of suitable P&I cargo surveyor to rein in the worst excesses, these spurious cargo claims will still be given a chance to materialize. As such, whilst we continue to monitor the numbers and mechanics of arrests, it remains our recommendation to appoint a competent P&I draft surveyor from a Loss Prevention perspective.

Do not hesitate to contact the Spica Vietnam Team for further information or inquiries.

Spica Services in HCMC has been in operation for 22 years.

Eske Munk is the Chief Representative of Spica Services Vietnam. Following time at sea, Eske qualified as a lawyer and joined an International Group P&I Club. He now has 10 years of P+I, FD&D and Charterers Liability claims handling experience.

In the office Spica HCMC is served further by Mr Le Ha Binh, a senior Claims Executive of 19 years’ experience. Binh has a degree from the Vietnam Maritime University in Engineering. Tam Nguyen Duc has been with Spica HCMC for 2 years, previously working at sea up to 3rd Officer. He then worked with PICO (marine) surveyors following which he worked for Baoviet Tokyo Marine Insurance as a claims executive. Tam is currently engaged in further academic development with the ANZIIF. Nguyen Ngoc Hien has been with Spica HCMC 2 years, prior to which he worked for VietIn Bank Insurance as a claims executive dealing specifically with Maritime incidents. Earlier in his career he served as a marine surveyor with a leading local survey company. Lynn Phan TP is a qualified accountant and divides her time dealing with Personal Injury claims, advising on Labour Code issues and assessing audited financial statements submitted as part of business interruption claims. Tran Nguyen Hoang Nam is a junior member of staff ably handling container issues.

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