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Court Rules

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. In addition the company announced that it has put all administrative staff in Greece on unpaid leave pending the outcome of the court ruling and discussions with financial institutions and various creditors.


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


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.


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


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


Suit on Carrier’s Bill of Lading Constitutes Acceptance

In a rehearing, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the forum selection clause in a carrier’s bill of lading is accepted by the non-signing cargo owner when the owner brings suit against the carrier for breach of the bill of lading. In the instant case, plaintiff cargo owner contracted with a NVOCC to have its cargo shipped from Korea to Los Angeles. The NVOCC’s bill of lading included a forum selection clause providing for suit in the United States


Shipping Industry Ballast Water Coalition Files Remedy Brief

Intertanko has filed a remedy brief in the North California District Court case of Northwest Environmental Advocates against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of a Shipping Industry Ballast Water Coalition, which consists of INTERTANKO, the American Waterways Operators, Chamber of Shipping of America, International Council of Cruise Lines, Lake Carriers’ Association, and the World Shipping Council. This brief, whose four main arguments are detailed below


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


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.


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.  


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


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


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


Landmark ECJ Ruling on Liability Limitation for Cargo Theft

Jos van der Meché

Rotterdam based law firm AKD said a recent landmark decision of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg definitively puts its weight behind forum shopping to limit liability under the CMR Convention in carrier-friendly countries. This is a boon to the Dutch jurisdiction and specifically comes


Russian Court Rejects Plea to Release Greenpeace Ship

MV Arctic Sunrise: Image credit Greenpeace

The Murmansk Regional Court has rejected an appeal against the arrest of the ship 'Arctic Sunrise' by Russian authorities reports Greenpeace. "This is an extremely disappointing ruling. We believe this verdict is in violation of both the Russian Criminal Procedure Code and international law


"Safe Drilling in the Far North is a Fantasy": Greenpeace

Protest banner: Image courtesy of Greenpeace

Commenting on Monday’s ruling by a federal judge in Anchorage that Shell’s oil spill plans for drilling in Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas don’t violate environmental laws, Greenpeace International Arctic campaigner Ben Ayliffe said:


Legal Spat Settled Mainly in Favour of Sembcorp Marine

The Singapore Court of Appeal was considering an appeal by Sembcorp against parts of an earlier High Court decision regarding PPL Holdings as follows: (i) whether the Joint Venture Agreement between the Company and PPL Holdings is premised on equal shareholding and continues to apply in its


Rebuilding the Presumption of Preemption

Dennis L. Bryant, Maritime Regulatroy Consulting, Gainsville, FL

I propose that the Legislative, Executive, Judicial Branches of the federal government should cooperatively work toward the rebuilding of the presumption in favor of federal preemption with respect to all matters related to maritime commerce


Treasure Hunters File Another Suit Against Columbia

Sea Search Armada's (SSA) lawsuit against the Government of Colombia in U.S. District Court, Washington D.C. claims it interfered with SSA's legitimate treasure salvage operations. The galleon San Jose carried coins and precious metals mined and smelted in Peru


American Investors and Colombian Government Battle over $17 Billion Treasure Salvage

A group of investors sued the Colombian government for preventing American salvage group Sea Search Armada from recovering San Jose, a ship that sank in 1708, often referred to as the “Holy Grail of Shipwrecks.” With numerous court rulings throughout the years


SKH Product Counterfeiter Sentenced

Swedish court rules for criminal conviction in SKF counterfeit court case. A Swedish court has sentenced one person to a one-year jail term and a five-year ban from trade, and awarded damages to SKF, after finding him guilty of violation of Swedish trademark law in relation to the SKF trademark


Argentine Tall Ship Released, Welcomed Home

Libertad: Photo credit Wki CCL DagosNavy

Argentine naval training ship, 'ARA Libertad' which was detained in Ghana for more than two months has arrived back home. The Libertad had been seized following legal action by an investment company trying to recover money still owed after Argentina's 2002 debt default


 
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