Five Groups of Legal Matters in Maritime Business
Blog: Andrei Gusev, Advisory Board Member, Legal & Risk Management, SeaFocus®
Published 16.11.2015

Nowadays I would divide maritime business and related legal matters into five general groups:

  • legal matters related to maritime transportation & logistics (including e.g. outsourcing),

  • insurance law matters,

  • matters related to ship-ownership,

  • ship-building and fishery and last – but not least –

  • a conglomerate of special maritime norms, e.g. search and rescue, salvage claim, collisions, etc .

These groups may be independent or interdependent.  Lawyer who deals with these matters has a handful of opportunities to apply knowledge and creativity. To do that he/she also needs a strong network of professionals to share knowledge and views.

As a person born and raised in St Petersburg, I feel like an ambassador of this beautiful city and the surrounding region.

In recent years, Northwest Russia has been acquiring particular importance. The number of legal matters in the maritime business has increased. Competition law questions have come to the front line as well, due to increasing port fees. Northwest Russia, with its access to the Baltic Sea, remains the main maritime customs and logistics point in Russia. A new port and logistics hub has been commissioned in Ust-Luga. Around one third of all cargoes reloaded in Russian ports are handled in its Russia’s northwest region.
We are the only Russian region to have all kinds of key transport: sea, river, air, railway, pipeline, and automobile. Additionally,  this region borders  Europe and acts as a connecting point between Europe and Asia. The Baltic Customs House is responsible e.g. for 80% of  Russian meat imports. This is the only customs office dealing with cruise ships in Russia, while St. Petersburg, a complex logistics hub, leads in handling container and metal cargoes in the Baltic Region. It is the only Baltic port which is able to handle high tonnage marine vessels with deadweight of up to 30,000 tons, whereas St Petersburg Passenger Port is the second largest port in the Baltic Sea Region (after Copenhagen) in terms of passenger traffic.

Having  worked as a lawyer in northwest Russia for over 20 years and having spent some time in Sweden I have seen many interesting cases, where things turn out to be something else than originally expected. Hence I would be glad to contribute to the discussion and exchange opinions and expertise on the SeaFocus Executive Maritime Business Platform.

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