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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.  


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.  


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


India's Coal Imports Causing Port Congestion

Congestion at Paradip expected to ease in a week if rains stop; higher-than-usual congestion at some other ports too. Indian power and steel companies are importing shiploads of coal due to a severe shortage at home, leading to heavy congestion in one of the country's busiest ports that now has


Workers End Strike at Haifa

Workers at Israel's state-owned Haifa Port ended their strike on Tuesday, a day after they walked off the job in protest at a government plan to build private, competing ports. A spokesman for the Chamber of Shipping said the port workers returned after Israel's labour court ruled that the


EU Sanctions on Iran Oil tanker Group Annulled

European Union sanctions on Iran's main oil tanker firm NITC have been annulled after the EU did not appeal against a court ruling that the measures should be lifted, the shipping group's lawyer said on Tuesday. An EU official told Reuters the European Union was working to resolve the issue


NITC: Says EU Sanctions Lifted

Dubai 11 NITC3.JPG

European Union sanctions on Iran's main oil tanker firm NITC have been annulled after the EU failed to appeal against a court ruling that ordered the measures to be lifted, the shipping company said on Tuesday. An EU official told Reuters the European Union was working to resolve the issue


Exxon Mobil Wants PDVSA Legal Edict Enforced

  Oil company Exxon Mobil asked a U.S. District Court on Friday to recognize a World Bank arbitration ruling that Venezuela must pay $1.6 billion over a nationalization claim filed in 2007. "Awards issued pursuant to the ICSID Convention are subject to automatic recognition and


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






 
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