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  • Addleshaw Goddard Logo
  • UK Chamber of Shipping logo

Maritime Law: an Introduction to Shipping Transactions

Learn about the transactions behind the shipping industry via this free online course. Explore the practicalities of global trade.

6,969 enrolled on this course

A navy blue ship in calm water near a port, under a cloudy sky
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours

This free online course will look below the water line at the unseen legal and transactional structures behind the shipping industry.

We will examine the process of acquiring and financing of new vessels and secondary market tonnage: from the various perspectives of a buyer, a seller, a ship-builder and a bank. We will explore the concept of flags of convenience and modern practice of ship registration.

You will develop an understanding of how the merchant fleets of the world are bought, sold and securitized – and how international conventions regulate ships wherever they are registered.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds Shipping is big business, a global industry, it affects us all. Over 90% of worldwide trade is carried by sea. It brings us everything from food to furniture and fuel for our cars and our homes. For industry, shipping provides the raw materials and provides an export market. Almost everything around you, our built environment, the phone in your hand has travelled by sea from abroad. But how does it work? What is involved unseen? What does it mean to buy and sell or lease a ship? What are flags of convenience? How does ship finance operate? What kind of international laws apply to ships wherever they are registered?

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 seconds For vessels as diverse as container ships and oil tankers, offshore supply boats and luxury yachts in this course we shall investigate – at an introductory level – the legal structures and techniques involved in ship registration.

Skip to 1 minute and 13 seconds Over the five weeks of the course we will consider: - Ship registration - Ship sale and purchase - Mechanics of a transaction - Ship finance – where the money comes from and the necessary securities - Shipping as a global business - And, together with our colleagues from UK Chamber of Shipping, a look at international regulatory aspects - Shipbuilding contracts - The structure of a new build project - Ship registration from flags of convenience to modern practice At the end of the course, we hope you will better understand some of the terminology, the legal concepts, and the contractual approaches that lie behind the building, the funding, and the operation of seaborne trade. I do hope you can join us.

What topics will you cover?

• An introduction to the maritime sector

• How ships are sold and purchased

• The mechanics behind ship registration

• What flags of convenience are and how they are used

• International regulations and conventions

• Ship finance

• Shipbuilding contracts

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Compare the benefits of registering a ship in different registers globally
  • Investigate the legal structures and techniques involved in ship registration
  • Evaluate the contractual approaches involved in shipping transactions
  • Debate the merits of flags of convenience
  • Demonstrate an understanding of ship sale and purchase
  • Explain the regulation of the shipping industry globally

Who is the course for?

There are no special requirements for this course. This is an introductory course and is open to everyone who has an interest in developing their understanding of maritime law. It may be of particular interest to anyone with an interest in global trade; anyone working in the maritime industry (or working in sectors that support the maritime industry) and law students and lawyers considering careers in maritime law.

Who will you learn with?

Ed is Head of the Shipping group at Addleshaw Goddard and is a recognised leading lawyer, specialising in ship sale and purchase, offshore commercial contracts and ship registration.

Who developed the course?

Law Society of Scotland

The Law Society of Scotland is the professional body for solicitors in Scotland. We lead legal excellence by representing our members and representing the public interest in relation to our members.

Addleshaw Goddard

At Addleshaw Goddard, our business is about strong client relationships built on successful delivery across national and international markets. A real meeting of minds.

UK Chamber of Shipping

The UK Chamber of Shipping is the trade association and voice of the UK shipping industry, with more than 180 members from across the maritime sector.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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