CAIRO – 25 March 2021: Egypt is not obliged to pay compensations for ships delayed in the Suez Canal due to the suspension of sailing in the canal as a result of the stuck container ship MV EVERGREEN, according to Vice-admiral Mahmoud Metwally.
Metwally clarified to Egypt Today on Thursday that insurance companies are responsible for paying compensations for affected ships and not Egypt.
He referred to the Convention of Constantinople, which was signed in 1888 regarding the freedom of navigation in the Suez Canal, noting that it does not force Egypt to pay any financial compensation.
The Convention of Constantinople, is a treaty signed by the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire in October 1888; it regulates the use of the Suez Canal
The vice-admiral affirmed that all international regulations and agreements do not stick the authorities to pay compensations, noting that navigation at the Canal has been suspended several times before without applying any financial commitment.
This comment comes after the circulation of news stating that authorities mull giving compensations to ships that were subject to delay because of the waterway's blocking as a result of a stranded container ship.
As for the timing of refloating the ship and ending the suspension of navigation at the Canal, Metwally stated that no one can determine the exact time of the floating process, adding that this process is subject to floating and recusing operations.
Two dredges were deployed to support the work of the 10 tugboats that have been pulling and redirecting the ship. It is noted that the number of tugboats, which was eight by Wednesday, was raised by two.
On another note, Japan's Shoei Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. owning the ship apologized for the situation, confirming that no oil leakage or human losses have occurred.
Sailing in the Suez Canal was temporarily suspended on Thursday after 13 ships were allowed to cross within "the Caravan of the North" heading from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.
The officials attributed the cause of the accident to bad weather as wind speed recorded 40 knots, which had impaired the ability to guide the ship.
The length of MV EVER GIVEN is 400 meters, its width is 59 meters, and its cargo capacity is 224,000 tons. The cargo ship is owned by the Japanese company, and operated by Taiwanese company "Evergreen Marine Corp."