Court Of Justice News

12 Feb 2019

EU Adopts New Fisheries Partnership with Morocco

European Parliament Logo

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) has adopted a new agreement on the legal, environmental, economic and social governance of EU vessels’ fishing activities in Morocco and Western Sahara waters.The new Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) includes the waters of Western Sahara and aims to take into account the conclusions reached by the EU Court of Justice on this matter.To this aim, the approved text stresses the results of the consultation process carried out by the European External Action Service and the Commission…

24 Dec 2018

Venezuela Navy Confronts Exxon Vessel in Guyana Border Dispute

File Image: CREDIT: AdobeStock / © DonvictoriO

Venezuela's navy "intercepted" a ship exploring for oil on behalf of Exxon Mobil Corp in Guyanese waters over the weekend, Guyana's foreign ministry said in a statement, while neighboring Venezuela said the incident occurred within its territory.The latest incident in a century-old border dispute comes after a series of offshore oil discoveries have given Guyana the potential to become one of Latin America's largest producers. In OPEC member Venezuela, by contrast, crude output has tumbled to the lowest levels in nearly 70 years amid an economic crisis.The Ramform Tethys vessel…

24 Dec 2018

Venezuela Navy intercepts ExxonMobil Oil Explore Ship

The Venezuela's navy on Saturday "intercepted" a ship exploring for oil on behalf of Exxon Mobil Corp. in Guyanese waters, neighboring Guyana's foreign ministry said in a statement, in the latest incident in a century-old border dispute.A series of offshore oil discoveries in recent years have given Guyana the potential to become one of Latin America's largest producers. In OPEC member Venezuela, by contrast, crude output has tumbled to its lowest levels in nearly 70 years amid an economic crisis.The Ramform Tethys vessel, which belongs to Norwegian company Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) and was conducting seismic survey work on behalf of Exxon…

20 Nov 2017

Liberian Registry, ICS Challenge Brazilian Court Ruling

Scott Bergeron (Photo: Liberian Registry)

The Liberian Registry, in cooperation with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), has succeeded in helping the holder of a Liberian mortgage to overturn a decision of the Brazilian courts which, if left uncontested, could have had serious adverse legal and economic consequences for the international shipping industry. Pursuant to the acquisition of the FPSO (Floating, Production, Storage, and Offloading vessel) OSX-3 in March 2012 by a Dutch company and following re-registration under the Liberian flag…

19 Jan 2017

Norwegian Shipping Firm Denies Polisario Accusation of Illegal Shipment

A Norwegian shipping firm on Thursday denied a tanker it manages had violated a European court ruling after Western Sahara's Polisario movement accused it of illegally transporting an oil cargo through disputed territory it claims. The Polisario independence movement this week called on the European Union and French authorities to seize a France-bound cargo being transported on the Gibraltar-flagged Key Bay because the tanker had made a port call to Moroccan-controlled Laayoune on Jan. The Polisario said the tanker's call to Laayoune had rendered its cargo illegal as it had violated a ruling by the European Court of Justice last month that two trade deals between the EU and Morocco did not cover Western Sahara.

30 Dec 2016

FMC and Technip to Complete Merger in January

Image:  FMC Technologies

USA subsea equipment firm FMC Technologies and French engineering company Technip have jointly announced that they expect their merger to be formally complete by January 16. Houston-based FMC and Paris-based Technip will form a new entity called TechnipFMC. Their planned amalgamation was first announced in May. The parties also announced the filing of a Delaware certificate of merger pursuant to which FMC Technologies and a subsidiary of TechnipFMC will merge effective immediately after the merger between Technip and TechnipFMC on January 16…

22 Jul 2016

Philippines' Offshore Oil Still in Doubt

The Philippines, eager to resume development of vital oil and gas reserves off its coast, will likely need to reach an accord with a Chinese government infuriated by last week's ruling that granted Manila a big victory in the South China Sea. The Philippines relies overwhelmingly on imports to fuel its fast-growing economy. That reliance will grow further in a few years when the main source of domestic natural gas runs out, so the clock is ticking for it to develop offshore fields that China shows no sign of loosening its grip on. Beijing has refused to recognise the ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration that granted the Philippines sovereign rights to access offshore oil and gas fields, including the Reed Bank, a shallow tablemount some 85 nautical miles off its coast.

12 Apr 2016

Pertamina Plans to Develop South China Sea Border Areas

Energy company Pertamina plans to explore for oil and gas in areas close to Indonesia's maritime border in the South China Sea to assert the country's territorial rights, the upstream director of the state-owned company said. "The government needs to have activities around the borders and one of Pertamina's strategies is to support this," Syamsu Alam told Reuters in an interview on Monday. He said Indonesia had lost sovereignty over two disputed islands in the past because it was not developing those areas. "So, like the South China Sea and the borders in North Kalimantan, we need to have some activities there," he said. China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea…

12 Apr 2016

Pertamina Plans to Develop South China Sea Border Areas

Energy company Pertamina plans to explore for oil and gas in areas close to Indonesia's maritime border in the South China Sea to assert the country's territorial rights, the upstream director of the state-owned company said. "The government needs to have activities around the borders and one of Pertamina's strategies is to support this," Syamsu Alam told Reuters in an interview on Monday. He said Indonesia had lost sovereignty over two disputed islands in the past because it was not developing those areas. "So, like the South China Sea and the borders in North Kalimantan, we need to have some activities there," he said. China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea…

17 Mar 2016

World Court to Draw up Nicaragua-Colombia Maritime Boundary

The International Court of Justice on Thursday said it would consider a claim by Nicaragua to expand its maritime boundaries in a mineral-rich part of the Caribbean Sea toward Colombia, a ruling set to further strain relations between the two countries. The judgment, separate from a decision earlier on Thursday in which the United Nations court said it would rule on alleged violations of Nicaragua's sovereignty, means a maritime delineation case between the two countries can proceed. In a televised address soon after the decision, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said he would not accept a ruling by a "third party" and would not participate in the case.

17 Mar 2016

World Court Allows Nicaragua-Colombia Maritime Mineral Rights Case

The International Court of Justice ruled on Thursday that it had jurisdiction over a maritime dispute between Colombia and Nicaragua concerning the legal boundaries of potentially oil-rich areas of the Caribbean Sea.   Judges at the United Nations' highest court in The Hague ruled that Colombia was obliged to contest a case brought by Nicaragua under the 1948 Bogota Pact, to which both countries are signatories.   The case was brought in 2013 by Nicaragua, which claimed its maritime territorial rights had been violated by Colombian vessels harassing its shipping. Colombia sought to block the case, arguing it did not fall under the court's jurisdiction. (Reporting By Thomas Escritt)

29 Feb 2016

EU to Fight Spanish Ship Finance Scheme

Regulators cracking down on national schemes which benefit some; more legal battles ahead with Luxembourg, Dutch tax appeals. EU state aid regulators are looking to Europe's top court to back their decision against a Spanish tax lease scheme for shipbuilders, one of several cases included in a crackdown on national tax programmes which benefit only certain companies. The decision by the European Commission on Monday to appeal to the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union came after a lower court threw out the EU executive's finding in December last year. Judges said the Spanish scheme which involved financing ship construction through a structure with two intermediaries…

24 Sep 2015

World Court Hears Boliva-Chile Dispute Over Sea Access

The International Court of Justice said on Thursday it will continue to hear a case brought by Bolivia against Chile seeking to force its neighbour to enter negotiations to grant Bolivia unfettered access to the Pacific Ocean. Chile had asked the court, also known as the World Court, to issue a preliminary finding that it has no jurisdiction to hear the case. But the court rejected that request in a 14-2 ruling. The decision does not mean that Bolivia will win its case. It means that the proceedings, which are years away from a final decision, will continue.   (Reporting by Toby Sterling)

01 Jul 2015

European Court Ups Standards for River Dredging

Photo: Port of Hamburg

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Wednesday that damage to water quality must be considered when authorities approve river dredging to expand ports, in a ruling which could hinder expansion at the German ports of Bremen and Hamburg. The European Union's highest tribunal raised hurdles for approval of port dredging projects which could harm marine life, saying more consideration must be given to the potential damage to water quality and marine life. But it did not order…

16 Feb 2015

EMGS to Appeal Ruling On Patent Invalidity

EMGS

As previously announced, Electromagnetic Geoservices ASA (EMGS) has issued claims against Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) in the High Court of Justice, Patent Court, in London, UK, and in Norwegian courts on the basis that PGS used its Towed Streamer EM in the territory of the United Kingdom, Ireland and Norway in violation of one of EMGS' patents. On 13 February 2015, EMGS received the decision of the Oslo City Court where EMGS' patent is found to be invalid. EMGS has decided to appeal the decision.

06 Oct 2014

Hamburg Port Dredging Delayed

Two passing containerships on the Elbe

"We respect the decision announced today by the Federal Administrative Court (FAC) in Leipzig on the deepening and widening of the navigation channel on the Lower and Outer Elbe. A final decision can only be taken when the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has clarified questions still outstanding on the so-called prohibition of deterioration and desirability of improvement embodied in the European Water Framework Directive. These questions will be resolved by spring 2015 in connection with complaints against a deepening of the River Weser.

05 Oct 2014

Austria to Sue if EU Regulator Clears UK Nuclear Plan

Nuclear plant

Austria will take the European Commission to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) if it approves Britain's plans for a 16 billion-pound ($26 billion) nuclear power plant, a spokesman for the chancellor said on Sunday. The deal to pay a guaranteed price for the power produced in the plant faces opposition from a quarter of EU policymakers, who want to overturn approval from the top European regulator. A vote is expected on Wednesday. The project, to be built by French utility EDF at Hinkley Point in southwest England…

02 Oct 2014

Dredging the River Elbe: Waiting for Luxembourg

Two passing containerships on the Elbe (Photo courtesy of the Port of Hamburg)

The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig today adjourned the proceedings by the BUND and NABU environmental associations against the plan approval concerning the dredging of the lower and outer stretches of the river Elbe until the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg has reached a decision regarding a pending referral of the interpretive ruling on the Water Framework Directive. The 7th division of the Federal Administrative Court, which is responsible for waterways law…

26 Sep 2014

EC Sues Spain over Port Security

The European Commission is taking action against Spain before the Court of Justice of the European Union, because 20 Spanish ports have yet to adopt and implement the port security plan. The main objective of European port security policy is to provide protection for ships and port facilities, as part of the maritime link in the transport logistics chain, against the risk of attacks and terrorism. Directive 2005/65/EC on enhancing port security aims to guarantee uniformly high levels of security in all European ports, in particular by implementing a port security plan laying down provisions for ensuring port security. Since June 15, 2007…

04 Sep 2014

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, has racked up losses as low-cost competitors have eaten away its market share and is fast running out of funds. Transdev - itself a joint venture between water and waste firm Veolia and French state bank CDC - has said it will…

25 Feb 2014

Court to Rule on Costa Rica/Nicaragua Maritime Border Dispute

Reuters - Costa Rica will ask the International Court of Justice to settle a decade-old maritime border dispute with Nicaragua related to potential oil concessions, President Laura Chinchilla said on Monday. Costa Rica plans to file a complaint with the court at The Hague on Tuesday in which it will ask the court to determine its borders with Nicaragua in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean, she said in a statement. The dispute dates back to 2002 when Nicaragua published maps detailing oil concessions, some of which were in waters claimed by Costa Rica. Nicaragua published the maps of the disputed concessions again in 2013, reviving the issue. The Central American countries already have an open dispute at The Hague related to an area of wetlands known as Isla Portillos.

07 Jan 2014

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 the Dutch environmental authorities (ILENT) which wanted to force them to handle a parcel of diesel oil rejected by a Belgian client as waste, when in fact Shell intended to up-blend the fuel to specification for selling on. Carel van Lynden, a partner with the shipping and offshore team at AKD in Rotterdam, says, “This is a good decision for bunker suppliers. This case reverses the very strict interpretation which ILENT had placed on off-spec bunkers.

02 Jan 2014

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 at the expense of the courts in Germany. The ruling had its origins in a dispute between cargo interests and carriers involving the theft of four consignments of Canon cameras during…

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