Legal advisor Dr. Youssef Al-Sharif said during today’s episode of “In Our Life is a Story” program via “Emirates Today” that the responsibility for any damage to the shipping course of the Suez Canal or the transiting ships or their containers rests with the company that owns the offending vessel and the company chartering it according to the liability provisions regulated by the Convention The rent concluded between them.
He stressed that of course these companies do not bear these compensation directly, but the ones who actually bear them are the protection clubs on ships and the insurance companies that have insured on the ship and its containers, each within the limits of his responsibility, because there are insurance companies on the hull of the ship itself, insurance for the navigation of the ship during the voyage, and insurance on the goods. Containers, and whatever goes beyond the limits of the insurance companies’ liability, are borne by the owner company and the leasing company.
An inquiry was received from officials of one of the international shipping companies, they had ships on their way to and from Europe through the Suez Canal, and among the ships that broke down on the morning of last March 23rd as a result of the stranding of the giant ship “Evergiven”, and that resulted in the delay in the delivery of containers and damage to some goods, Consequently, the shippers’ demand for compensation for that, asking who bears these compensations.
Legal Advisor Dr. Youssef Al-Sharif commented by saying first that navigation in the Suez Canal is governed by international regulations and agreements, foremost of which is the historic Constantinople Agreement signed in 1888 AD regarding freedom of navigation in the Suez Canal.
Secondly, the Constantinople Agreement does not oblige the Egyptian government to any compensation for transiting ships.
And third, according to the regulations governing transit movement in the canal, the role of the Suez Canal Authority and the Egyptian government is to provide a guide to provide guidance for transit and to consider his opinion in that as a consultant.
Fourth, these regulations stipulate that the ship’s crew is fully responsible for driving it inside the shipping course.
Al-Sharif said that the Japanese company “Choi Kisen” that owns this ship and the Taiwanese “Ever Green” company that chartered the ship bear the consequences of its delinquency, in the face of the insurance companies insured on the ship and the containers, and the damages covered by this responsibility are the damages incurred by the shipping course of the canal, and so on. The Egyptian government incurred expenditures to float this ship, and what it missed from the canal revenues throughout the delinquency period until the passage of all ships stranded because of it, in addition to compensating all ships for the damages they have caused as a result of delay and cargo damage.
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