Ship Arrest: Seafarers Right and Claim filing procedures

Ship under arrest is simply preventing a ship in question from leaving port or country’s territory water. Meaning it is under of an appropriate judicial authority.

Note; ship arrested and under detection are two different things.

Detention of a ship under the Maritime Labour Conversation ( MLC 2006) by port state control (PSC) authorities is not in anyway arrest of the ship. Since this is not a court supervised process.

However, ship arrest in about 78 countries are based on the national laws giving effect to the 1952 Brussels Convention on the Arrest of Sea-going vessels, while in other countries the arrest of ships is based on the 1999 international convention on arrest of ships. Ofcourse, base on the mentioned conversations , any one can apply for ship arrest once claims has been authorized or passes due process.

Incidents that warrant ship arrest includes;

– Execution of a Law and decrees

– Violation of customs law

– Violation of regulations as amended (eg China energy regulation)

– Health Risk factors

– Salvage

– Personal Injury / loss of Property

– Accident like ship collisions

– Agreement not fulfilled

Having known that, on this article, we will walk you through on seafarers rights during ship arrest, persecutors/claimers procedures and as well as detention.

Claimers procedure For Ship Arrest

There are several procedures to be follow before arresting a ship. As said before, any one may request for a ship arrest after ensuring that the Claim Form has been issued to the ship through the master, flag state authorities, or company representative. But before applying to arrest a ship, an affidavit regarding claims must properly filled and filed. The affidavit form or application should contain the follow list:

– That relevant notices has been sent to ship head office either through ship captain or company representative.

– That the claims has not been fulfilled by the ship owner.

– Full name of the ship, date of incident, backup document number, etc.

– Indication of property to be arrested, which must include the ownership of the property, vessel/company name and port of registry.

– Nature of claims should be clearly stated

The above guide might change base on country’s procedures as per conversation in practice.

In most occasions some issues or cause of ship arrest/detection might not allow the authorities to let go the ship crews easily.

Example of ship arrest and detention cases:

– When an oil tanker SEA SHARK own by UAE was arrested due to a claim by Egyptian Navy of illegal crossing into it territory water without proper permission.

– Detection of a ship due to security-risk (eg Weathertight doors / ship accommodation fire doors not closing properly, safe heaven to in order, etc)

– Ship Detection due to safety ( Life saving appliancesnot in order)

– Ship Detected and later arrested for by US coast guard for water pollution case. This resulted to two Engineers sentenced to prison plus a fine of $250 000.

Seafarers Right To Arrest or Detection A ship

Provisions are provided for ship crews under the international ship arrest conversation. Therefore each and every seafarer has a right to invoke your rights under the MLC or arrest the ship on the basis of your maritime lien or arrest a sister ship in case the vessel in question is not within the jurisdiction. Meanwhile, it’s we recommend you to take an advice from a local maritime lawyer as to your best course of action.

Examples of cases where seafarers has right to arrest a ship:

Claims for unpaid wages ; This very common among most shipping companies of today. Probably they do it because some seafarers doesn’t know full right they got.

Now know it, if you are a seaman you got full right to arrest or detain a ship in case of claims for unpaid wages or repatriation in the event of your abandonment (” this can be achieved by a maritime lien under the 1926 Convention, the 1967 Convention and the 1993 Convention”) can be enforced against the ship to which you had rendered or rendering your service under the 1952 Convention.

Personal Injury or Death: No one wish for bad things to happen, but it does. Therefore it’s also provided to pay seamen incase of injuries or death caused by ark of God. Though some marine companies might claim not to pay or push it as personal caused, but you can claim injury or death (According to maritime lien under the 1926 Convention, the 1967 Convention and the 1993 Convention) which can be enforced against the ship under the 1999 Convention.

However, what if you are onboard a ship arrested for a claim, what will be your right?. Firstly, we recommend you to work according to the law directive during arrest or detention.

But in case of insecurity, safety, health or contract completion, you have the right to request for a relief if the claim is not referring to you or crews in general.

For now we will end here. Over to you contribute or ask your questions, we will answer ASAP.

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