ШАГ В НАУКУ - 2016
I Международная научная дистанционная студенческая конференция

Юридические науки
International transportation of project cargoes: legal aspects
Смирнова Е. В. 1

1. Национальный университет «Одесская морская академия» ,


Автор проводит исследование международно-правовой регламентации перевозки проектных грузов. Сделан вывод, что при подобной перевозке грузов требуется повышенное внимание к организации к выполнению процесса перевозки, нарушение которого грозит значительными по размеру и последствиям убытками.

Ключевые слова: перевозка проектных грузов, международно-правовое регулирование перевозки грузов


International transportation of project cargoes: legal aspects

Kateryna Smirnova, cadet of the 5th course,

National University «Odessa Maritime Academy».

           Scientific adviser: Savych Olga Sergiyivna,

           PhD, Docent, Head of Maritime Law department,

           National University «Odessa Maritime Academy».

Project Cargo is a term used to broadly describe the national or international transportation of large, heavy, high value or critical (to the project they are intended for) pieces of equipment. Also commonly referred to as Heavy lift, this includes shipments made of various components which require disassembly for shipment and reassembly after delivery. [5]

Why is special attention required? The answer is simple: The costs involved in project cargo damages or loss can be very large, often running into tens, possibly hundreds of millions of dollars. The risks involved can be largely mitigated with careful planning and attention, before the cargo is received for shipment. In more difficult financial times, the pressure to reduce costs is very high and since the cost of shipment is essentially an overhead, there is a natural desire to reduce the shipping costs as far as possible. The use of unsuitable vessels for the cargo, poor quality or inadequate securing and dunnage, poorly trained crew and a lack of detailed planning can all lead to damage to or loss of the cargo. The consequence of this will involve a claim against the cargo and / or liability insurance and potentially for the delays to the project (e.g. delay in start up). With many other parties involved and the consequential costs high, these claims are often complicated and may result in lengthy and costly litigation. [4]

Billions of dollars of project-critical equipment is shipped around the world each year. High levels of risk are associated with these shipments due to the nature of the cargo, transport logistics and tight timeframes. Failure of a shipment to arrive intact can quickly turn a $10 million cargo loss into a $100 million Delay in Start-Up loss when factors such as re-fabrication, shipping, expenses, lost profits and other operational costs are contemplated. Other considerations that are not insured, such as loss of completion bonuses, may also have a financial impact on the client. [3]

It is the Master’s responsibility to ensure that all cargo, whatever it is, is safely stowed, properly secured and handled (loaded/discharged) with care and in accordance with the requirements of the charterparty The charterparty may dictate specific responsibilities of the vessel owner, charterer and shipper such as the specific responsibility for stowage, lashing and securing of the cargo. For example there may be a requirement from either charterer’s and/or cargo insurers for the appointment of an independent marine warranty surveyor (MWS) to review, approve and monitor all loading and sea-fastening operations. These responsibilities should be carefully assessed as they can greatly affect the liabilities if the cargo is damaged or lost during the loading, voyage or discharge. It is important that all relevant persons are aware of these requirements and their responsibilities. [4]

The following Regulations are applicable and should be adhered to:

1.Flag state and Classification Society rules: Always mandatory and includes the mandatory application of SOLAS for any applicable vessel. In particular SOLAS Chapter VI: Carriage of Cargoes is relevant and must be complied with. Regulations for lifting gear and operations will be found within the flag state or classification society rules.

The rules of the vessel’s classification society will also set out the requirements for maintenance of the vessel, including equipment required for the loading, stowage and securing of project cargoes. If these requirements are not followed, the vessel’s owners may be liable in the event of an incident. [1]

2. Cargo securing manual: The vessel’s cargo securing manual (CSM) is a key document in the shipment of project cargoes. The CSM is a required document under SOLAS Chapter VI and shall document the types of cargo for which the vessel is properly suited to carry, how it shall be loaded, stowed and secured. It will also document the vessel’s cargo securing equipment (an inventory) and their maintenance and inspection.

3. The CSS Code (IMO Code of Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing, 2003; Resolution A.714(17)): Sets out the general principles for the safe stowage and securing of a range of cargoes, including project cargoes and non-standard, heavy units that may require special attention. Annex 13 of the CSS Code sets out the method of calculation of the required lashing forces for abnormal loads. The CSM is based on the principles set out in the CSS Code. [4]

One key aspect is that specialist knowledge and experience in the shipment of such cargoes is required to fully plan and engineer a safe project cargo shipment. The IMO CSS Code sets this out in Section 1.8, Special Cargo Transport Units: «The shipowner and the ship operator should, where necessary, make use of relevant expertise when considering the shipment of a cargo with unusual characteristics which may require special attention to be given to its location on board vis-avis the structural strength of the ship, its stowage and securing, and the weather conditions which may be expected during the intended voyage.» [2]

4. Intact stability regulations (The International Code on Intact Stability, Resolution A.749(18)): A mandatory requirement that sets out the minimum stability standards for all applicable vessels. Damaged stability standards also needs to be considered (SOLAS Chapter II-1).

5. CTU packing guidelines (IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code), 2014): Provides guidance and measures for ensuring the safe packing of cargo in containers and other cargo transport units (CTUs).

The following Guidelines are relevant and provide guidance on the best practice for the loading, stowage, securing and discharge of project cargoes:

  1. DNV Rules for the Planning and Execution of Marine Operations: The DNV ‘Rules’ provide some mandatory requirements for certain operations and some guidelines. Whilst mainly applicable to offshore operations, there are relevant sections on heavy-lifts, lifting appliances, loading and discharge operations that are relevant to project cargo shipments.
  2. DNV-GL Noble Denton Guidelines: The DNV-GL Noble Denton Guidelines provide the technical basis for marine operations including the transportation of specialised cargoes. The guidelines include Marine Transportation Guidelines (Document reference: 0030 rev 5 or later), Marine Lifting Guidelines (0027 rev 10 or later), Mooring Guidelines (0032 rev 1 or later) and Load-out Operations (0013 rev 7 or later). [4]

Evaluating risk is also very important. Insurers will only compensate the assured for the loss or put it back in the same position. So how does an underwriter even start to evaluate the risk when the consequences are not easily apparent? Project cargo is specifically dependent on transport logistics and tight timeframes, so missing any goal or target will have serious knock-on effects.

To begin a proper assessment of the exposure, a few crucial factors need to be considered. The time and costs for re-fabrication as well as for reshipping the item need to be calculated, which is not an easy task when the bespoke nature of these items is considered.

During this time, insurers will need to calculate the knock-on effects when other goals or targets cannot be met. This means they need to evaluate the loss of profit and/or other operational costs at each stage affected until the project is completed. This is by no means guesswork and there is a complex system involved in calculating each risk.

Appraising the exposure is only part of the problem to insurers because one must consider how to move such an item. Project cargo will most likely be out-of-gauge or exceed regular weight limits, so the question is how the transport is to be done. Moving pylons across muddy roads in India during monsoon season, or loading reactors onto vessels, need the highest level of expertise. The services of engineers, surveyors, mariners, naval architects, consultants and government officials will be required. Careful consideration is essential in deciding who to employ.

In May 2009, the International Council of Heavy Lift and Project Cargo Carriers (the “Heavy Lift Club”) was established in order to create a forum for exchanging ideas on industry issues that concern carriers operating in the heavy lift and project cargo sector. The creation of the Heavy Lift Club reflected the concern by major players in this specialised area that technical, operational and safety considerations relating to their market were not always properly understood. Apart from the practical considerations that arise in relation to heavy lift cargoes, there are also diverse contractual needs in the heavy lift sector that need to be met. To assist those entering into charterparties for heavy lift cargoes in identifying suitable terms to govern their contracts of carriage, BIMCO has produced two heavy lift forms, which are both classed as special voyage charter parties for the heavy lift trade. [5]

The vetting process and selection criteria of vessel are available from various sources of information, starting from free of charge MoUs portals to fully commercial services like Rightship. Present market and economic situation impose budget restrictions on many shippers, consignees, carriers and third party logistics providers. This has reached a different dimension and forced shipping companies to implement unusual strategies for unusual times. A traditional approach, without in depth market analysis, could lead to wrong conclusion even though the information is correct. Age should always be a factor to consider, as older vessels have a higher frequency of mechanical breakdowns, fires, etc.


  1. International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea 1974: [Electronic learning resource ]. File access mode: http://www.mar.ist.utl.pt/mventura/Projecto-Navios-I/IMO-Conventions%20(copies)/SOLAS.pdf
  2. IMO Code of Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing, 2003: [Electronic learning resource ].-File access mode: http://www.imo.org/blast/blastDataHelper.asp?data_id= 22526&filename=A714(17).pdf
  3. Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. Project Cargo. Managing risks and protecting assets: [Electronic learning resource ]. -  File access mode:http://www.agcs. allianz.com/ assets/PDFs/Product%20brochures/AGCS_Project_Cargo_ Brochure_022712.pdf
  4. Thomas Miller. Project cargo matters: [Electronic learning resource ]. -
    File access mode: http://www.ukpandi.com/fileadmin/uploads/uk-pi/LP%20Documents /Project_cargo_matters_proof_7.pdf
  5. Thomas Zhang. Heavy lift items and project cargoes: [Electronic learning resource ]. -
    File access mode: http://www.skuld.com/Documents/Topics/Cargo/Project_cargo/ Heavy%20Lift%20Items%20Icon/Skuld_Heavy_lift_and_Porject_Cargo.pdf?epslanguage=en







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Смирнова Е. В. International transportation of project cargoes: legal aspects // . – . – № ;
URL: step-science-bip.csrae.ru/ru/0-27 (дата обращения: 03.12.2020).

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