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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 to Appeal Gulf Oil Spill Damages Ruling

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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.  


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


LHWCA Awards for Multiple Disabilities

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision on how awards under the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) should be calculated in cases involving multiple disabilities. In the instant case, a longshoreman was injured in 1979 and awarded permanent partial disability. Following a subsequent injury, he was found to be entitled to permanent total disability. The court ruled that, since the two injuries were separate


Nigeria Cocoa Shipment Resumes

Exporters have resumed loading of cocoa shipments in Nigeria's second-largest producing area, Cross Rivers state, after the state government suspended on Friday a levy on bean exports, a trade body said. Cocoa shipments from Cross Rivers, which produces annual volumes of around 60


Iraq to Appeal US Court Decision on Kurdish Oil

The Iraqi oil ministry said on Thursday it would challenge a U.S. court decision that stopped U.S. Marshals from seizing some one million barrels of disputed Kurdish oil docked near Texas. On Monday, a U.S. district court ruled in favour of a request by Iraq's Kurdish region that a demand by


French Ferry Firm Loses State Aid Appeal

Photo: SNCM

Cash-strapped ferry operator SNCM looks set to seek legal protection from its creditors after Europe's highest court ruled on Thursday it must pay back 220 million euros ($289 million) of French state aid. SNCM, owned 66 percent by transport group Transdev


Transocean Steers Clear of BP Punitive Damages

Deepwater Horizo Photo USCG

Transocean Ltd. informs it has received a decision by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on phase one of litigation related to the April 20, 2010 Macondo well incident involving the Deepwater Horizon.  Key findings in the Court's decision with respect to


Bunker Suppliers Applaud EU Waste Decision

Recent guidance handed down by the European Court of Justice which rules that off-spec fuel oil does not have to be handled as waste is a triumph of common sense which will be welcomed by all suppliers of fuel oils and bunkers.   Shell Nederland and Shell Belgium were disputing a ruling by


Court Denies WQIS Motion for Injunction

A New York State Supreme Court Judge has ruled against WQIS in a dispute involving the marine pollution insurance arena. According to Safe Harbor, this is the second ruling against WQIS in its attempt to prevent start-up Safe Harbor Pollution Insurance from entering the insurance space where


Shell Suspends Alaskan Offshore Drilling

AP photo

Faced with an earnings slump and added pressure from a recent federal court ruling, Shell has abandoned plans for offshore drilling near Alaska in 2014. Shell’s new CEO Ben van Beurden announced to investors today that the company will undergo a major refocus aimed at reversing down


India Drops Anti-piracy Charges against Italian Marines

India has dropped a plan to prosecute two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen under a tough anti-piracy law, a government lawyer said on Monday, offering a chance to end a diplomatic row between the two countries.  


Justices Question Obama Climate Change Regulations

By Lawrence Hurley, Reuters The U.S. Supreme Court appeared closely divided on Monday as it weighed whether the administration of President Barack Obama exceeded its authority when crafting the nation's first greenhouse gas emissions regulations.


MOL Bulk Carrier Arrested in Shanghai

Bulk carrier: Image courtesy of MOL

A maritime court in Shanghai has ordered the detention of a Japanese ship having ordered the ship's owner to pay delayed rent and losses to a Chinese firm deting from as long ago as 2007, according to Xinhua. The ship, named BAOSTEEL EMOTION and owned by Japanese shipping firm Mitsui O.S.K


Chevron Wins A Round In U.S. Suit - Ecuador Case

Chevron

  A federal judge on Friday rejected a bid by a U.S. lawyer to stall the enforcement of a ruling that found he used fraud to secure a $9.5 billion pollution judgment against Chevron Corp in Ecuador. Lawyer Steven Donziger is appealing a 500-page decision issued by U


US Top Court Upholds Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

Victory for Barack Obama

The U.S. Supreme Court handed President Barack Obama a victory on Tuesday by upholding a federal environmental regulation requiring some states to limit pollution that contributes to unhealthy air in neighboring states. By a 6-2 vote, the court said the U.S


Appeals Court Not to Revisit BP Oil Spill Compensation Decision

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A U.S. appeals court will not revisit a decision to reject BP Plc's bid to block businesses from recovering money over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, even if those businesses could not trace their economic losses to the disaster. The 5th U.S


Israeli gov't appeals court ruling on Zim in feud over debt deal

Israel's Finance Ministry said on Monday it appealed a court ruling that chipped away at its golden share in the country's biggest shipping company Zim, a move that could further delay a $3 billion debt restructuring plan. An Israeli court ruled last week the government could keep its golden


Iran Oil Tanker Firm Still Faces Sanctions

Iran's main oil tanker firm NITC will struggle for some time to call at European ports, get foreign insurance and overcome obstacles under western sanctions, even after a top court has annulled its blacklisted status in the European Union.






 
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