Egyptian court confirms seizure of ship that blocked Suez Canal
Egyptian court dismissed appeal by owner of huge container ship from court-ordered seizure of ship over financial dispute
CAIRO – An Egyptian court on Tuesday dismissed an appeal by the owner of a huge container ship from the court-ordered seizure of the ship over a financial dispute.
Egyptian authorities seized the towering Ever Given, which blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week in March, disrupting billions of dollars in maritime trade.
The Suez Canal Authority said the vessel would not be allowed to leave the country until an amount of compensation was settled with the vessel’s Japanese owner, Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd.
A court in the city of Ismailia on the Suez Canal ordered the seizure of the vessel earlier this month. The owner of Ever Given filed an appeal on April 22, hoping to overturn the decision.
The Ismailia Economic Court confirmed the seizure decision on Tuesday. There was no immediate comment from the shipowner.
The Suez Canal Authority demanded $ 916 million in compensation, according to the UK Club, an Ever Given insurer. This amount takes into account the rescue operation, the costs of the blocked channel traffic and the transit fees lost for the week that Ever Given blocked the channel.
Negotiations between the Suez Canal Authority and the shipowner were still ongoing to settle the compensation claim, said Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd. last week. The company said it had informed a number of owners of the ship’s roughly 18,000 containers to assume part of the damages claim. He declined to divulge more details about the negotiations, including how much is covered by insurance and how much he is asking freight owners to share.
The Ever Given was en route to the Dutch port of Rotterdam on March 23 when it struck the shore of a single track stretch of the canal about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) north of the southern entrance, near the town of Suez.
A massive rescue effort by a tidal flotilla of tugboats freed the Ever Given skyscraper six days later, flying the Panamanian flag, ending the crisis and allowing hundreds of waiting ships to cross the canal.
Blocking the canal forced some ships to take the long alternate route around the Cape of Good Hope to the southern tip of Africa, requiring additional fuel and other costs. Hundreds of other ships waited on the spot for the blockage to end.