Maritime and Admiralty Laws Practice in CLP Part-2
Maritime or Admiralty law keeps running with the nautical issues and private sea contentions. Office of the chief naval officer law comprises of both national law on sea exercises, and private international law prevailing the dealings among isolated parties and functioning or consuming ocean-going ships. While each legitimate locale ordinarily has its own enactment overseeing maritime issues, significant universal sea law advancements, including various multilateral treaties Admiralty law might be recognized from the Law of the Sea, which is a group of open global law managing navigational rights, mineral rights, purview over waterfront waters, and the sea connections between countries. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea UNCLOS has been received by 167 countries] and the European Union, and debates are settled at the ITLOS court in Hamburg.
CLP at Gulshan, Dhaka Bangladesh is one of the prominent law offices in the Maritime business to assist their clients with its immense experience in this field of both wet and dry shipping related matter. Under Dry delivery work the firm embraces disputes concerning contract of claims under marine protection or insurance policies, cargo or freight claims, capture of boats or arrest of ships, Ship enrollment, procurement and move of title and possession in Ships, Shipbuilding Contracts, Sale and Purchase of Second-hand Tonnage contract, Arbitration in connection to various transportation related Contracts, Bill of Lading, open Letter of Credit LC related records check activities for a decade. The firm spoken to bearer, shipper, bank, sailor and director, P & I Club and furthermore Ship proprietor with a high achievement rate. Constantly team CLP are assured to deliver the paramount and most on point evidence that we can to guarantee that our client has the upper hand during the dispute settlement concerning contract of claims under marine protection or insurance policies along with other shipping related disputes.
CLP in Dhaka Bangladesh also work on Admiralty cases, on which our team of attorneys and counselors effort very faithfully together and bit their experience of knowledge of the law and courtroom strategies in order to receive the best service and ensure that our client get the proper verdict. Our firm also has the capability of supervising litigation in jurisdictions within different countries and coordinating with our associate law firm, to deliver the best service to our clients. The Chambers legal counselors routinely show up in the Admiralty court of the Hon’ble High Court Division for a few cases for various gatherings with or without an application for Ship capture on a pressing premise under the Admiralty Court Act 2000. Team CLP knows the direness and system of ship capture and its reaction is constantly prompt in the port authority.
Furthermore Team CLP has extensive experience in “wet” shipping work including pilotage, collisions between ships, towing and salvage, casualties and international conventions.
The firm handles a wide scope of wet shipping matters in Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna port for both domestic and global customers including the proprietors of the ship, ship agents, P&I clubs, lenders, charterers and cargo intrigues together with their safety net providers. The firm has additionally spoken to exchange affiliations and different suppliers of sea administrations cargo forwarders. The firm has dealt with an assortment of load debates including different things, for example, mass oil, grain and containerized products. Moreover the firm is had some expertise in upholding sea liens under neighborhood and universal expressions and laws.
Bangladesh Government urges overseas ship proprietors to enlist their boats under Bangladesh Flag. Government made easygoing principles and guidelines to advance shipping areas. CLP lawyer is in the process for assist and advice and will help in avoiding either litigation or violations of state laws to ensure the best possible outcome for their client and help ship owners for enrolling their boats with Principal Officer-Mercantile Marine Department (POMMD), Chittagong through Bangladesh Inland Water and transport authority BIWTA.
- Please give an overview of ship arrest practice in your country.
Bangladesh is one of the most advantageous arrest jurisdictions for the reasons, amongst others, Bangladesh is not a signatory to any arrest convention, ship can be arrested in an action in rem, vessel can be arrested in an action in personam, ship can be arrested for security, ship can be attached even after loss of navigability, ship can be arrested for maritime lien as well as maritime claim, arrest lies for as many as nineteen claims, arrest is straight forward, court has jurisdiction 7/24 hours, arrest is both quick and cheap, court does not require counter security for arrest, there is no provision or practice of awarding damage for wrongful arrest,
P & I club’s LIU/LOI is not accepted for release of the vessel and a vessel is released upon furnishing Bank Guarantee. The High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh exercises Admiralty Jurisdiction under the Admiralty Court Act, 2000 and the Admiralty Rules, 1912. Admiralty Rules provide that in suits in rem a warrant for the arrest of property may be issued at the instance either of the plaintiff or of the defendant at any time after the suit has been instituted, but no warrant of arrest shall be issued until an affidavit by the party or his agent has been filed, and the following provisions complied with:-
- The affidavit shall state the name and description of the party at whose instance the warrant to be issued, the nature of claim or counter-claim, the name and nature of the property to be arrested, and that the claim or counter-claim has not been satisfied.
- In a suit of distribution of salvage the affidavit shall state the amount of the salvage money awarded or agreed to be accepted, and the name, address and description of the party holding the same.
To file an application for arrest of ship the plaintiff/claimant must institute a suit by paying Tk. 1,00,000.00 as Court fee. In a suit for wages Court fee of Tk. 100.00 is required to be paid. The plaint along with the documents is to be filed in the section/office of the Court and the application for arrest of the ship is filed in the Court. Usually, the application comes up in the Daily Cause List of the court on the following working day. However, if the Court is satisfied with urgency of the matter it prepares a supplementary cause list and hears the matter on the same day. If prima facie case in made out in support of the claim the Court Admits the suit and directs issuance of summons. Thereafter, the application for arrest is heard and if the court is prima facie satisfied about the merit of the application it passes an order for arrest of the ship for security of the claim amount. An application for arrest of ship is heard ex-parte unless a caveat has been filed by the defendants. The order for arrest of ship is served upon the defendants by the Marshal of the Court on receipt of fee and charge paid by the claimant. Likewise, cargo on board or any property belonging to any party can also be arrested by the Admiralty Court.
The order for arrest can be vacated by the same court upon an application filed by the defendant on the ground that the ship was wrongly arrested and the defendants can also file an application for reduction of the quantum of security, but hearing of these kinds of application takes 1 or 2 weeks. When the ship is in a hurry, this kind of application is not generally advised. A ship is released from arrest upon deposit of the amount of claim in the Court or upon furnishing a local bank guarantee. An LOU issued by P & I Club is not accepted in Bangladesh. After release of the ship upon furnishing bank guarantee an application for reduction of Bank guarantee can also be moved by the defendants and, if allowed, a revised Bank guarantee would be furnished. The release order is also served by the Marshal upon receipt of Marshal’s fee.
If the ship has not gotten released by the defendants, the plaintiff can pray for sale of the ship pendente lite and the Court sells the ship through auction and keeps the proceeds with the Marshal which is paid to the plaintiff if the suit is decreed in his favour. If there is more than one claimant and the proceeds cannot satisfy the claims, the Court applies the English Law of priorities.
- Which International Convention applies to arrest of ships in your country?
Neither the International Convention relating to Arrest of Seagoing Ship 1952 nor the International Convention of the Arrest of Ships1999 have been ratified by Bangladesh.
- Is there any other way to arrest a ship in your jurisdiction?
A ship could also be arrested by the plaintiff in execution of decree passed by the High Court Division or a judgment passed by a foreign Court against the Owner of the ship. A ship can also be attached before judgment in a suit in personam. In a suit in rem a ship can be attached if the ship is beached for scrap before institution of suit. Under the Bangladesh Merchant Shipping Ordinance (MSO) 1983 the Principal Officer, Mercantile Marine Department can detain an unseaworthy ship. Under the MSO the High Court Division can detain a foreign ship for damage caused in any part of the word to the Government of Bangladesh or any Bangladeshi citizen or company and the Principal Officer or Collector of Customs can detain a ship before such application has been made to the High Court Division. Under the Regulations for Working of Chittagong Port (Cargo and Container) 2001the Chittagong Port Authority can detain a vessel until security has been given for the amount of damage caused and the Cost involved in removing the blockade of navigational channel or the total amount is paid.
- Are these alternatives e.g. saisie conservatoire or freezing order?
There is no separate freezing order other than arrest of a ship in an Admiralty proceeding or in an execution proceeding to enforce a decree. However, an application for injunction to restrain a party from scrapping or removing a vessel can be passed by the Court.
- For which types of claims can you arrest a ship?
A ship could be arrested in an action in rem for any of the following claims:
- any claim to the possession or ownership of a ship or to the ownership of any share therein or for recovery of documents of title and ownership of a ship, including registration certificate, log book and such certificates as may be necessary for the operation or navigation of the ship;
- any question arising between the co-owners of a ship as to possession, employment or income of that ship;
- any claim in respect of a mortgage of or charge on a ship or any share therein;
- any claim for damage done by a ship;
- any claim for damage received by a ship;
- any claim for loss of life or personal injury sustained in consequence of any defect in a ship or in her apparel or equipment, or of the wrongful act, neglect or default of the owners, charterer or persons in possession or control of a ship or of the master or crew thereof or any other persons for whose wrongful acts, neglects or defaults the owners, charterers or persons in possession or control of ship are responsible, being an act, neglect or default in the navigation or management of the ship, in the loading, carriage or discharge of goods on, in or from the ship or in the embarkation, carriage or disembarkation of persons on, in or from the ship;
- any claim for loss of or damage to goods carried in a ship;
- any claim arising out of any agreement relating to the carriage of goods in a ship or to the use or hire of a ship;
- any claim in the nature of salvage of life from a ship or cargo or any property on board a ship or the ship itself or its apparel, whether services were rendered on the high sea or within territorial waters or inland waters or in a port, including any claim arising by virtue of the application by or under section 12 of the Civil Aviation Ordinance, 1960, (Ordinance XXXII of 1960) of the law relation to salvage to aircraft and their apparel and cargo;
- any claim in respect of towage of a ship or an aircraft;
- any claim in respect of pilotage of a ship or an aircraft;
- any claim in respect of goods or materials supplied to a ship for her operation or maintenance;
- any claim in respect of construction, repair or equipment of a ship or dock charges or dues;
- any claim for wages by a master or member of the crew of a ship or any claim for any money or property recoverable as wages of master or member of the crew under the Merchant Shipping Ordinance, 1983, or in the Court;
- any claim for disbursements made on account of or for the purpose of a ship by the Master, shipper, charterer or agent of the ship;
- any claim arising out of an act which is or is claimed to be a general average act;
- any claim arising out of bottomry or respondentia;
- any claim for forfeiture or condemnation of a ship or of goods which are being or have been carried, or have been attempted to be carried, or for the restoration of a ship or any such goods after seizure, or for droits of admiralty together with any other jurisdiction to grant reliefs as are provided under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance.
- Can you arrest a ship irrespectively of her flag?
A ship could be arrested irrespective of her flag.
- Can you arrest a ship irrespectively of the debtor?
As long as the claim gives rise to an action in rem, even if the ship belongs to a Foreign State the ship would be arrested. But the ships belonging to the Government of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Bangladesh Rifles, Bangladesh Police and Coast Guard are indemnified.
- What is the position as regards sister ships and ships in associated ownership?
A sister ship can be arrested. But a ship in associated ownership (sister company ship) cannot be arrested.
- What is the position as regards Bareboat and Time-Chartered vessels?
If the ship is on bareboat charter, it can be arrested and if it is on time charter it cannot be subjected to arrest.
- Do your Courts require counter-security in order to arrest a ship?
Counter-security is not required to be furnished at the time when the Court orders the arrest of a ship. However, the code of Civil Procedure provides that where, at any stage of the suit, it appears to the Court that a sole plaintiff is, or (when there are more plaintiffs than one) that all the plaintiffs are residing out of Bangladesh, and that such plaintiff does not, or that no one of such plaintiffs does, possess any sufficient immovable property within Bangladesh other than the property in suit, the Court may, either of its own motion or on the application of any defendant, order the plaintiff or plaintiffs, within a time fixed by it, to give security for the payment of all costs incurred and likely to be incurred by any defendant.
- Is there any difference in respect to arresting a ship for a maritime claim and a maritime lien?
If the plaintiff’s claim is a maritime lien, the claim survives notwithstanding the change in ownership of a ship and the ship can be subjected to arrest. If the claim is a maritime claim and not a maritime lien the ship cannot be arrested if, before filing of the suit, ownership of the ship has changed.
- Does your country recognise maritime liens? Under which International Convention, if any?
Sections 477 and 478 of the MSO recognize maritime liens to the Seaman’s wages and the Master’s wages respectively. No other statute recognizes maritime liens. However, Court follows English law of maritime liens.
- What lapse of time is required in order to arrest a ship from the moment the file arrives to your law firm?
After receipt of file/documents along with Power of Attorney, 48 hours are required to obtain an order of arrest.
- Do you need to provide a POA or any other documents of the claim to the Court?
Power of Attorney executed by the client, notarized and attested by the Bangladesh High Commission in the plaintiff’s country is required to be filed along with other documents to prove the claim. But the Court permits to file suit by dint of the scanned copy of the Power of Attorney subject to filing the original after authentication by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and payment of stamp duty.
- What original documents are required, what documents can be filed electronically, what documents require notarisation and/or apostille, and when are they needed?
All documents in support of the claim along with correspondence between the parties are required to be filed at the time of filling the suit and application for arrest. Original documents are required to be filed at the time of trial.
- Will your Courts accept jurisdiction over the substantive claim once a vessel has been arrested?
Court usually accepts jurisdiction over the substantive claim once the vessel has been arrested. However, the Court may refrain from adjudicating the substantive claim if any agreement of jurisdiction stipulates for foreign jurisdiction. In case of pendency of maritime arbitration, court maintains the arrest order for the purpose of security and stays the substantive suit.
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