Egypt's Ismailia Economic Court of First Instance considers decision of upholding seizure of MV EVER GIVEN

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Sun, 04 Jul 2021 - 09:51 GMT

Refloating of EVER GIVEN vessel- press photo

Refloating of EVER GIVEN vessel- press photo

CAIRO – 4 July 2021: The Ismailia Economic Court of First Instance will consider on Sunday a hearing of a lawsuit filed by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) to uphold a decision of arresting the stranded Panamanian container ship EVER GIVEN, which ran aground in the Suez Canal in March.

 

On 20 June 2021, the court has postponed the hearing to July 4 to allow further settlement discussions to take place between the authority and the shipowners, upon a request by the lawyers representing both parties.

 

In media remarks on June 24, 2021, the Suez Canal Authority Chief Admiral Osama Rabie said that The Suez Canal Authority has reached a preliminary satisfying solution to the Ever Given ship.

 

The MV EVER GIVEN went aground on March 23, 2021, in the 151st km of the Suez Canal, where vessels pass in both directions, causing the suspension of the international maritime navigation through the canal for six days. After it was freed on March 29, the ship was escorted to the Bitter Lakes for technical inspection, crew interrogation, and black box analysis. Afterward, an Egyptian economic court in Ismailia issued a decision to seize the ship at the canal until paying compensation for damages it caused due to the grounding, besides the costs of the salvage operation.

 

Egypt has asked for $916 million in compensation for damages caused by the grounding of the ship, the salvage operation, and for loss of reputation. The situation complicated when an economic court in Ismailia governorate issued on April 13, 2021, a decision to officially arrest the ship until paying compensation.

 

SCA lawyer Nabil Zidan clarified in a press conference on May 30 that there are two legal cases regarding the decision of the arrest of the ship. "The first lawsuit filed by the Suez Canal Authority to judicially uphold the seizure decision," he said, noting that the Ismailia Economic Court recused itself from considering this case on May 23 and referred it to the Ismailia Court of the First Instance, which adjourned the case to June 20.

 

"Meanwhile, the second lawsuit filed by the shipowner Japanese company Shoei Kisen Kaisha was a grievance against the decision of putting the ship under arrest until paying the required compensation," he added. The court rejected the grievance.

 

In the beginning, Egypt estimated the compensation value at $916 million, which has been reduced to $600 million. However, SCA Chairperson Admiral Osama Rabie stated previously in a phone-in that the Japanese Company wants to reduce the compensation sum from $600 million to $150 million.

 

In his meeting with Panamanian Ambassador to Egypt Alejandro Gante and Director General of the Panamanian Maritime Authority Rafael Cigarruista on May 25, Chief of the Suez Canal Authority Admiral Rabie said that the authority has provided facilities, revealing that “the value of the compensation requested by the authority is about $550 million, provided that $200 million shall be paid in advance, while the remaining $350 million are paid as letters of guarantee issued by an ‘A class’ bank in Egypt.”

 

Additional reporting by Samar Samir

 

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