Shipping Transactions

The Chambers lawyers have deep insight into the laws and regulations and also practical experience of dealing with legal issues involving shipping. The firm has developed expertise in advising on ICD projects, shipbuilding projects, ship finance, mortgage etc. The Chambers acts for foreign buyers of ship items etc. and often advises clients over trade terms on shipbreaking. The Chambers and Partners ranked us under the spotlight table for shipping for seven consecutive years and Chambers and Partners 2023  Asia Pacific Guide gave review: “Specialist shipping practice covering the full scope of maritime issues including ship arrests, marine insurance, bills of lading and admiralty. Also active on collision cases, often representing international P&I clubs and shipping companies”. 

Rahman’s Chambers has been ranked for “Shipping” (covering commercial works) under the “Spotlight Law Firm” table for seven consecutive years

– Chambers and Partners, 2023-2022

“Also active on collision cases, often representing international P&I clubs and shipping companies.”

– Chambers and Partners, 2021

“the firm is “thorough in terms of maritime law, investigating facts in detail, and are good at following up.”

– Chambers and Partners, 2020

“Specialist shipping practice covering the full scope of maritime issues including ship arrests, marine insurance, bills of lading and admiralty. Also handles shipbuilding matters as well as ownership disputes, mortgage claims and cargo damage claims”

– Chambers and Partners, 2019

“Their response times are excellent and they make you feel generally very well informed…”

– Chambers & Partners, 2018.

The ‘very responsible, responsive and knowledgeable’ Mohammed Forrukh Rahman heads the firm

– Legal 500, 2018

We represented a substantial German ship-owner, who had ordered four new buildings at a shipyard in Bangladesh. Unfortunately, all these four shipbuilding contracts failed and were ultimately canceled by our clients, which gave rise to very complex legal proceedings in Germany, England and Bangladesh. Mr. Rahman handled various proceedings in Bangladesh for our client against the local shipyard and its financing banks. He did so in a most effective, successful and cost-effective manner. We can therefore highly recommend the legal services of Mr. Rahman to any party, which needs legal support in Bangladesh in matters relating to international trade, financing and transport.

Our Experience includes:


  • We advised client on several issues involving shipping agency related commission, forex regulation, agency agreement and repatriation.
  • We advised our client on several legal issues involving forex regulation, agency laws, banking regulations, shipping laws, etc. while dealing with issues relating to failure to remit freight.
  • We have conducted due diligence on flag vessel registration and merchant shipping law & regulations of Bangladesh and also international conventions & laws in this regard, including WTO agreements, for a shipping line and also advised them on several matters including possible changes in law and dealing with amendments proposed and also registration of a vessel under Bangladesh flag related issues.
  • We have recently completed a complex transaction involving the sale of 3 fishing vessels originally manufactured in Japan, registered in Bangladesh, operating in the Bay of Bengal, between two major local conglomerates. The transaction involved complex negotiation of price, delivery terms, indemnity, and also the transfer of licenses and permits
  • We have advised a leading Chinese construction company regarding foreign vessel registration process in Bangladesh, local acceptability of China classification society and applicable cost/ tax breakdown etc.
  • We have advised and provided due diligence report to Dharti Dredging and Infrastructure Limited, India on the importation of dredgers as capital machinery and applicable customs duty, foreign vessel registration process and applicable registration fees in Bangladesh, setting up dredging business in Bangladesh etc.
  • We have advised Bengal Fisheries Ltd, a JV amongst Maruha Nichiro, AK Khan & Co, Pacific Traders Ltd in a transactions involving sale, change of registration, fishing license etc of three seagoing fishing vessels with Rancon Sea Fishing Ltd, a concern of Rangs Group of Industries.


  • We have advised Maersk Bangladesh Limited and also A.P. Moller –Maersk, Denmark by preparing templates for Letter of indemnity suitable for Bangladesh and also other jurisdiction, for example, India, Pakistan where there is exchange control regulation.


  • Drafted shipbuilding contract between Narayangonj Engineering & Shipbuilding Ltd. (NESL) and Bashundhara Group involving the building of tanker/cargo/LPG vessels at the respective party’s shipyard using yard site, infrastructure, equipment’s, administrative and other services.
  • Provided legal consultancy to Intraco Lines Ltd and drafted joint venture agreement formed between Intraco Lines Ltd and CGFK Trading Co. Ltd.
  • Provided legal consultancy and drafted agreement formed between a major Russian shipbuilding company and a local company involving building and supply of vessel under G2G contract.


  • Successfully litigated a Civil Revision between Ernst Komrowski Holding KG (GmbH & Co) vs Ananda Shipyard and Slipways Ltd over claim involving finance for infrastructure development of builder.


  • Conducted legal due diligence for foreign buyers relating to ship-breaking items.


  • Advised a client on rules and regulation involving coastal shipping.


  • We have advised client on the legal position relating to the storing facility of containers in the Inland Container Depot/Container Freight Station.


  • Advised a Japanese MNC in acquiring shares in a major JV company in Bangladesh providing logistic services.


  • Advised a major Japanese MNC in selling shares of a marine fisheries company in Bangladesh.


  • We have advised shipowner on the laws and processes involving flagging their vessel with Bangladeshi flag.

Practice Guide – Shipping

Gradually, the reputation of Bangladesh as a shipbuilding nation is growing internationally. As the industry grows so does the disputes between the shipbuilders and purchasers. Shipbuilding is a huge investment project involving joint effort and finance from Banks, overseas and local entrepreneurs, etc. Local shipbuilders are now involved in shipbuilding works of both local and international customers keeping related service industry busy. Legal service is often very crucial to conduct due diligence as to bank finance, foreign lending, builders and buyers company’s legal health, tax, VAT and customs matters and incentives for such major construction projects. Besides, the shipbuilding contract being a complex construction agreement is mostly drafted by a lawyer so that it covers all aspects of local and international laws. The Shipbreaking industry alike the shipbuilding industry is of vital importance as it produces raw materials to the steel industry, shipbuilding industry, local and south Asian several industries and others. The shipbreaking industry in Bangladesh has emerged rapidly primarily owing to economic labor costs. The shipbreaking industry involves environmental issues, commercial scrap contracts, sale of scrap items, shipbreaking industries, personal injury cases, employer’s liability, etc. Legal service is paramount to address the aforementioned issues revolving around the shipbreaking industry in Bangladesh. 

Shipping transactions related service are required by banks mostly involving legal due diligence, regulations and registration of mortgage and charges with MMD.

Clients often require advisory services on regulation on several aspects on shipping e.g. crew operation, costal trade, licensing, permitting, opening business setup for shipping ad logistic services.

The SOP was signed by the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) and the Indian Ministry of Shipping outlines the procedures for the movement of goods between Bangladesh and India through the Chattogram and Mongla Ports. The SOP also includes provisions for the clearance of goods at the ports, as well as the transit of goods through Bangladesh.

Marine Fisheries Rules 2023 are a set of regulations that aim to promote the sustainable management of marine fisheries. The rules cover a wide range of topics, including fishery zones, fishing gear, fishing seasons, fish size limits etc. The rule is designed to help ensure the sustainable management of marine fisheries in Bangladesh.

The Department of Environment’s decision to classify the shipbreaking industry as a red category means that shipbreaking businesses and yards are now subject to stricter environmental and safety regulations.

World Shipping Council (WSC) expressed concern over the Bangladesh Flag Vessel (Protection of Interest) Rule of 2023. The WSC argued that the rule could violate international maritime law.

Investment in shipping industry requires prior due diligence as there are country specific regulations and restrictions.

M & A in shipping industry requires prior due diligence as there are country specific regulations and restrictions.

An incident like Beirut took place in an ICD deport in Chottogram in 2022. The consignment that caught fire and exploded in an ICD container depot had arrived at least five days before the accident which killed more than forty-nine people. No shipping company was willing to transport the chemicals which is around 240 tonnes of hydrogen peroxide in sixteen containers, with 50 percent concentration, in plastic jars. As a result, the consignment remained in the depot alongside other non-hazardous containers, not in separate shed, waiting to be shipped.

The incident exposes the owners of the cargo, ICD despot, shipping lines, relevant government departments etc. to several risks and liabilities. The relevant questions are for example, is hydrogen peroxide a dangerous cargo under the Dangerous Cargo Act-1953? Whether the liquid was declared as dangerous cargo at the time of import? Whether clearance from NAVY was taken? Should the operator of the depot keep it separate from other goods? Should there be multiple caution signs? Whether the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code on safe carriage of dangerous goods and the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code as issued under of SOLAS Convention for detecting and deterring acts that pose threats to maritime security inside their facility, were complied with? Whether clearance from the environment department and fire service etc. were duly taken? Whether industrial safety measure for workers were duly taken? Whether all directives and guidelines under the license and permits were complied with? Was there strong monitoring from govt department to ensure compliance? Whether sufficient rules and regulations were framed to avoid such incident in a private ICD deport? Can the cargo owner claim against the ICT deport for negligence? can they claim against any government department for similar failure? What are the possible criminal liabilities for the death and violation of rules frame under dangerous cargo act 1953, if any? What are the contractual liabilities involved? Does the ICD deport liable for the consequential losses? Can the shipping companies claim for the loss and damages of the container directly against ICT depot?

As per news report, over eight hundred TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units) of containers loaded with export items, RMG products and frozen foods, around five hundred imported goods-laden containers and 3,000 empty containers went down in flames[i]. The cargo owners will face several risks involving breach of contract, delay in delivery, delay in procuring raw material etc.

[i] The Financial Express

Related Resources - Library

We have a rich library with a mixture of printed and online legal databases. We have printed version of All England Commercial Cases, Indian Digest of  Supreme Court cases, Yearbook Commercial Arbitration of Wolter Kluwer and most law reports of Bangladesh. We subscribe to the online legal database Manuputra providing access to most reputed law reports. Read more

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