Shaaban Bilal (Cairo)
The Suez Canal Authority responded to the statement of the UK Club for Protection and Compensation regarding the responsibility of the Suez Canal Authority guides for the ship during its passage in the navigational course, explaining that the responsibility for exceeding the speed limits set for crossing the canal rests with the ship’s master alone.
The Suez Canal Authority said, in an official statement, that the canal’s navigation regulation is the legal reference that defines the rights and obligations of the Suez Canal towards its customers. The regulation includes traffic rules in the canal and all texts specifying the various responsibilities and requirements for ships transiting the canal in terms of maritime, logistical and rescue services.
The authority clarified that the navigation regulation in item No. 58 regarding the appointment of accompanying tugs states that the authority is responsible for appointing two tugs accompanying container ships with a tonnage of 170,000 tons or more, which was applied by the authority by appointing two tugs accompanying the Panamanian ship EVER GIVEN.
She indicated that the regulation also stipulates in item No. 54 the permissible speeds of ships within the navigational course, which range from 14 to 16 km / hour according to the type of transiting ships, and accordingly ships are obligated to apply the predetermined speeds in accordance with the navigation regulations during their transit through the canal, and the responsibility for exceeding These speeds are on the captain alone.
The authority valued what was stated in the statement of the UK Club for Protection and Compensation regarding the eligibility of the Suez Canal to obtain appropriate and fair compensation that covers the costs of rescue work and the due rescue reward and losses incurred by the authority during the successful rescue operation of the Panamanian ship that ran aground in the canal at the end of last March.
In this context, the authority affirmed its keenness to make the course of negotiations a success, in order to activate the principle of good faith and take into account the extended ties and relations with one of its most important clients, without prejudice to the rights of the authority and to ensure that it reaches a fair settlement that compensates for the losses it incurred during the crisis.