Pandemic Effect on Maritime Industry in UAE

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Certainly, we all didn’t imagine the most awaited 2020 to be such harsh year for health, economy and lifestyle for everyone. We are restricted to even perform basic activities like breathing (without a mask) and some other major industries were shut temporarily. We have discussed the impact of coronavirus on many sectors drifting economy away from normal to devastating. Another important industry who has faced the wrath of coronavirus is Maritime and shipping, wherein, the Maritime lawyers of Dubai believe that the major impact on this industry is due to the restrictions imposed on shipping cargos by most governments around the world. Accordingly, the industry is currently facing multiples issues and struggling to survive in the wave of global pandemic. The article by top Lawyers of Dubai will discuss these challenges briefly to provide an insight to our readers.

The demand of cargoes have drastically been reduced due to multiple restrictions imposed by the government authorities all around the world in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, many governments have allowed maritime companies to start undertaking their activities, yet the companies have to follow numerous rules and regulations of pandemic. The Federal Transport Authority of UAE has imposed guidelines on the companies engaged in maritime activities to sustain the negative impact of coronavirus and to further maintain the safety standards before delivering the goods to the different ports. These additional guidelines obviously mean that the company has to spend additional funds in order to employ such machinery and labor to enhance the sanitization on the goods.

In addition, the companies are obliged to arrange educational session for the employees concerning the health and safety standards such utilization of disinfectants and the proper dress code. Most importantly, many companies position are at stake due to restriction on travel as delay in transporting goods is an additional problem the company has to face. In addition, the industry is threatened by multiple lawsuit that can be registered against the company due to delay in transporting goods especially perishable goods.

An additional requirement of inserting clauses for infectious diseases or to amend the force majeure clause is the new reason for disputes between the charters and owners of the ships as both parties want to safeguard their position and to avoid any further liability or to dump the liability on the other party.

The afore-mentioned guidelines or restrictions imposed by the authorities are although in the favor of the employees, yet it is an additional costs and has certainly caused a ruckus among commercial parties and not just in Maritime industry.

Lawyers of Dubai are currently witnessing abundance of inquiries concerning reviewing of commercial agreements whether in Maritime or any other sector in line with several boilerplate clauses, which were never really bothering either parties before the global pandemic such as Force Majeure clauses. It is recommended to all our readers to go through your commercial contracts again in order to ascertain the potential casualties you may face or shall approach legal consultants of Dubai to understand your position under the UAE law.

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