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Court Rules

Zim Line Debt Restructuring Plan to Proceed

Zim container ship in terminal: Photo Zim Line

Israel's Finance Ministry and Israel Corp have reached a compromise regarding the government's "golden share" in the country's biggest shipping company Zim, paving the way for a $3 billion debt restructuring plan to move ahead. The government last week appealed an Israeli court ruling regarding the golden share but the two sides said on Tuesday they have reached a compromise that is similar to the original court ruling. As a result, Israel Corp said in a statement, it has asked the district court to approve the restructuring arrangement it has reached with its shareholders. If the court approves, Israel Corp said it plans to carry out its part of the deal by the end of Tuesday. Conglomerate Israel Corp owns just under 100 percent of Zim, which like other shipping companies has been hit hard by a faltering global economy in recent years. Under the restructuring its stake in Zim will fall to 32 percent after a $1.4 billion debt-to-equity conversion agreement with creditors. The compromise will allow the government to keep its golden share, which gives it veto power over some major decisions and requires Zim to operate ships during times of emergency. At the same time, the compromise requires government authorisation for the sale of 35 percent or more of Zim, up from a current level of 24 percent.


Greek Court Sets New Deadline for Royal Olympic Cruise Lines

Royal Olympic Cruise Lines announced that the Greek court administering the section 45 proceeding regarding its subsidiaries has allowed the company an extension until Thursday, February 12, 2004, to reach agreement on a plan of restructuring with the holders of at least 51% of outstanding obligations. The company is in negotiations with its major creditor, Fortis Bank, which itself holds more than 51% of the total obligations.


Court Rules on Salvage v. Finds

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that the law of salvage rather than the law of finds applies to the on-going work related to the wreck of the RMS TITANIC. The court also overturned the lower court’s actions regarding certain artifacts that had been retrieved and taken to France in 1987, ruling that the court had no in rem jurisdiction over those artifacts. The decision includes a lengthy comparison of the law of salvage and the law of finds


Federal Court Delivers Ruling On Bayport

The Port of Houston Authority (PHA) welcomed U.S. District Court Judge Vanessa Gilmore's ruling on the motions for summary judgment that had been filed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, PHA, and the opponents of PHA's Bayport Container and Cruise Terminal project. The court ruling grants the Corps' and PHA's motions and denies the opponents' motion, thereby dismissing the challenge to the Bayport permit. According to the court's ruling


EPA May Inspect a Ship for PCB

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to obtain and exercise an administrative warrant to inspect ships containing regulated chemical substances. In the instant case, the owner of an obsolete US Navy ship announced plans to have the ship towed to a foreign port for renovation and conversion. The EPA learned that the ship probably had polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) on board


BP Denied $700M in Insurance from Gulf Spill

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday ruled that BP Plc cannot claim about $700 million in insurance that was carried by offshore driller Transocean Ltd to cover the blowout of BP's Macondo well in 2010, the biggest offshore spill in U.S. history. The state's highest court, upholding the views of lower courts, ruled BP was covered by Transocean's insurance for pollution on the water's surface, but not under it. BP operated the well


Stratos Wins Protest of Five-Year Contract

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. has granted the Stratos protest of a five-year U.S. Navy SPAWAR (Space and Naval Warfare) Inmarsat lease contract award to Comsat. The court ruled the contract awarded this past June was legally invalid, and required the U.S. Navy to retender its request for proposal for the five-year $111.9 million contract. The Court directed the Navy to conclude the recompetition by January 28, 2000.


Stolt-Nielsen Appeal Fails in Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter on July 25 rejected an emergency appeal from Stolt-Nielsen SA to freeze the Justice Department's pursuit of antitrust charges against it. Stolt-Nielsen has challenged the power of government prosecutors to revoke an amnesty agreement shielding it from prosecution over an alleged plot to divvy up customers in the parcel shipping business, which involves the transport of bulk liquids such as chemicals. The company's emergency petition asked the U.S


OSHA Shares Jurisdiction with USCG over Uninspected Vessels

The U.S. Supreme Court has determined that, because the U.S. Coast Guard exercises minimal oversight of ‘uninspected vessels’ of the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the Department of Labor shares jurisdiction over working conditions thereon. In the instant case, respondent was cited by OSHA for unsafe working conditions on its oil and gas exploration barge. Respondent challenged the citation


BP to Appeal Gulf Oil Spill Damages Ruling

us courts.jpg

BP Plc on Wednesday said it will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review a court ruling concerning the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which forces the company to pay some businesses for economic damages without the businesses having to prove the spill caused their losses.   On Monday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans refused to disturb a March ruling from a three-judge panel over how to compensate businesses.  


Maersk Meets Iranian Officials over Seized Vessel

Maersk Line said on Monday it had met again with the Ports & Maritime Organization (PMO) in Iran regarding the seizure of the vessel Maersk Tigris but has yet to receive any official documents from Iranian authorities. The Maersk Tigris was seized last Tuesday by Iranian patrol boats in the


Indian Sailors Return Home after Five Month

Image: Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard

 Fourteen Indian troopers, who have been stranded on board an oil tanker off the coast of Bahrain since December have lastly left for home, says a report in Gulf Daily news.   They were among the 16-member crew of Mongolian vessel MT Surya Kuber


Face Off Maersk Tigris

Maersk Tigris. Pic by Maersk Line

 The Danish shipping giant Maersk Line is still trying to obtain details of the Iranian court ruling that resulted in seizing Maersk Tigris by the Iranian authorities over an alleged commercial dispute.   While the Iranian claimant in the Maersk Tigris case warns vessel could be put


BP Wins Right to Appeal Gulf Spill Damages Claims

BP Plc deserves the right to have a federal appeals court review some damage claims awarded under the settlement to compensate people and businesses harmed by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday.   The 5th U.S


Convicted Crew of Korean Ferry File Appeals

Photo: South Korea Coast Guard

Eight of the 15 surviving crew members of a South Korean ferry that capsized in April have filed for appeal against their convictions on negligence charges in the country's worst maritime disaster in more than four decades. The eight crew members


Battle Over Keystone XL Pipeline

Oil pipelines are safe and efficientf

  Nebraska's Supreme Court ruled against a challenge to the Keystone XL oil pipeline's route through the state on Friday, clearing the way for the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress to try to force President Barack Obama to approve the project.


BP, Anadarko Fail to Win Review of Gulf Spill Fines

  BP Plc and Anadarko Petroleum Corp narrowly failed to persuade a U.S appeals court to reconsider its 2014 ruling that they could face civil fines under federal pollution laws over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. By a 7-6 vote, the 5th U.S


UK Court Rejects Iran Tanker Firm's Attempt to Avert Sanctions

A legal attempt by Iran's main oil tanker firm NITC to stop the European Union from reimposing sanctions on it over its disputed nuclear program has failed in a London court, setting back Tehran's efforts to ease trade restrictions. Iran is engaged in nuclear talks with world powers as it tries


EU to Reimpose Sanctions on Iranian Tanker Firm

European Union governments are expected to agree later on Thursday to put the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) back on a list of sanctioned firms, EU diplomats said. The EU's second-highest court ruled last July there were no grounds to blacklist the NITC after the company contested the


Iranian Oil Tanker Blacklisted by EU

Image: National Iranian Tanker Company

 During a meeting in Brussels on Thursday 12 February, members of European Union decided to sanction again the Iranian Oil Tanker Company which is transporting oil around the globe.  The EU's second-highest court ruled last July there were no grounds to blacklist the National Iranian


Court: BP Employees Can't Be Charged Under Seaman's Manslaughter Law

   The 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard)

  A federal court ruled on Wednesday that BP well site leaders on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig cannot be charged with seaman's manslaughter in the deaths of eleven workers that died during the 2010 rig explosion because they were not seamen.  


Maersk: Iran Must Release Ship, Crew

Denmark's Maersk shipping said on Thursday it insisted on the release of a vessel and crew seized by Iran, adding it assumed the incident was related to a 2005 court case over uncollected cargo. The Marshall-Islands flagged Maersk Tigris container ship was detained by Iranian forces in the


US Navy to Accompany US Ships in Strait of Hormuz

U.S. Navy ships started accompanying U.S.-flagged commercial vessels passing through the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, seeking to ensure freedom of navigation two days after Iran seized a cargo ship, U.S. defense officials said.   The officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity


Maersk Vessel to be Released after Company Pays Debt: Iran

Maersk Tigris: Maersk Line

 The Iranian Embassy in Denmark has reportedly said that a cargo ship recently impounded the Persian Gulf by Iranian Navy forces will be released if the ship’s operator company settles its overdue debts to an Iranian plaintiff.   


California Port Truckers End Strike

Ports of Los Angles and Long-Beach

Southern California port truckers seeking recognition as employees rather than contractors ended a strike of freight-hauling companies on Friday after four days of picketing that drew attention to their cause but did little to disrupt cargo shipments.






 
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