Brought to you by:

Container spill: maritime authority seeks $22 million from insurer

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is seeking $22 million in clean-up costs from the insurer of a Singapore-flagged ship that is currently in detention in the Port of Brisbane.

The APL England lost about 50 containers off the NSW coast in bad weather on May 24 while en route to Melbourne from China.

The authority says it will only release the ship after it has received payment from the insurer, London-based P&I Club member Steamship Mutual, and ship owner APL Singapore.

“AMSA has placed an additional requirement on the owner of the ship under the Protection of the Seas Act which must be met before the ship will be released from detention,” GM Operations Allan Schwartz said.

“This action seeks financial security from the insurers in the order of $22 million. This provides a commitment that they will remediate all impacts of this incident. That $22 million covers estimated costs, including that of a clean-up.”

AMSA has also filed charges against Mohamad Zulkhaili Bin Alias, the master of the ship, after its investigation of the incident found lashing arrangements for cargo were inadequate and securing points for containers were heavily corroded.

“This and other incidents remind us of the important role the ship’s master has in ensuring the ships that ply our waters are operated safely and do not damage our marine environment,” Mr Schwartz said.

“[The] actions should not detract from the responsibility of the ship owner APL Singapore, insurer Steamship Mutual, and operator ANL who remain accountable for remediation of any impacts of this incident.

“We welcome ANL taking responsibility by engaging contractors to undertake shoreline clean-up and retrieve some of the floating containers this week, but the impacts of this incident could take months, if not years to remediate, and we expect these efforts to be sustained for however long it takes.”