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April 12, 2016|
Except in specific circumstances, an arrest may be made of not only the vessel to which the claim relates but any other vessel owned by the defendant at the time the claim occurs. However, if the dispute relates to ownership, mortgage, possession or profits resulting from the use of the vessel then no further arrest of vessels can be made.
The Federal Law No. 26 of 1981 (Federal Maritime Law or FML) also accepts any debts that confer priority rights against a vessel, including judicial costs in the sale or protection of a vessel, port dues, claims for salvage, collisions or assistance or hull insurance among others.
The sale of the vessel in question cannot be conducted until after a final judgment is reached by the court. A court order will stipulate the price for which the vessel should be sold and the date on which the sale must happen, amongst other aspects.
It should be pointed out that this procedure requires many original documents to be translated and notarised in Arabic, the official language of the country, and a power of attorney is required. This can lengthen the timeframe for completion of the judicial process and only token court and legal costs will be awarded at the conclusion of litigation.
Claims Which Constitute "Maritime Debts" Under Article 115 of the FML are:
A. Damage caused by a vessel as a result of a collision or other accident;
B. Loss of life or personal injury occasioned by the vessel and arising out of the use thereof;
C. Assistance and salvage;
D. Contracts relating to the use or exploitation of the vessel under a charter party or otherwise;
E. Contracts relating to the carriage of goods under a charter party, bill of lading, or other documents;
F. Loss of or damage to goods or luggage transported by a vessel;
G. General average;
H. Towage or pilotage of a vessel;
I. Supplies of products or equipment necessary for the use or maintenance of the vessel, in whichever place the supply is made;
J. Building, repairing or supplying a vessel and dock dues;
K. Sums expended by the master, shippers, charterers or agents on account of the vessel or account of the owner thereof;
L. Wages of the master, officers and crew, and other persons working on board the vessel under a contract of maritime employment;
M. Disputes over the vessel's ownership;
N. A dispute in connection with the co-ownership of the vessel, or with the possession or use thereof, or with the right to the profits arising out of the use thereof;
O. A maritime mortgage.
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