The Ever-Given Ship Stuck in the Suez Canal, Who Will Pay for the Loss?

One of the world's busiest maritime trade routes was disrupted on March 24, 2021, when a massive container ship was swept away by strong winds and stranded as it crossed the waterway. The Ever Provided was traveling through the Suez Canal when it was struck by a sandstorm on March 23, 2021...

April 3, 2021
One of the world's busiest maritime trade routes was disrupted on March 24, 2021, when a massive container ship was swept away by strong winds and stranded as it crossed the waterway. The Ever Provided was traveling through the Suez Canal when it was struck by a sandstorm on March 23, 2021. In attempting to determine the effects of this incident, it should be remembered that the collision has hampered at least 150 ships on both sides of the Canal, which accounts for around 12% of global trade. Each day it takes to reopen the Canal would cause $9 billion in cargo to be lost.
Who is going to pay for that?
Under the law of liability, the shipowner is liable for the errors made by his dependents, as well as for the errors made by his followers when performing their duties. The owner is personally questioned about the duties resulting from the conduct of the ship captain in the exercise of his legal authority, as well as the actions and mistakes of the sailor, pilot, and other crew members on the ship. The owner's liability is initially limitless, which means the owner is obligated to pay compensation for any losses incurred, and all of his assets are considered a promise to meet the sums of those compensations.
The ship captain is also responsible for his errors in exercising his powers in front of the ship owner, the individual who invests in the ship, and third parties. As a result, each failure to fulfil his contractual obligations exposes him to the risk of having to compensate the owner for the errors' consequences. Under tort liability law, the Captain will be interrogated about his mistakes. Although the Captain is personally liable to others, it has been provided that the affected others will directly hold the owner liable for any loss or harm to the goods that have been shipping on the deck if he does not have the consent of the owners, or if maritime customs do not permit it., After the owner has met his duty to compensate for the damages, he will seek reimbursement from the Captain for the amount he has paid, but this is seldom the case due to the Captain's financial inability to do so.
The Suez Canal Authority tends to be in the most crucial position to be legally bound by the ancient Constantinople Convention on the Freedom of Navigation of the Suez Canal, which does not include any compensation for transit ships. The ship crew is entirely responsible for its command within the navigation course, according to the regulations regulating ship transit. Article 95 of the Egyptian Maritime Trade Act No. 8 of 1990 states that "the captain shall himself steer the ship when entering or leaving ports, anchors, or rivers, or when passing sea lanes, as well as in all cases obstacles to navigation, even if the captain is obliged to use a guide." "The liability provided for in this chapter shall arise even if the accident happens beyond the guide's fault, even if the instruction is compulsory, without regard to the general rules of liability," says Article 298 of the same Act.
However, it would be difficult to determine who is to blame for the Suez Canal mega-tanker accident before the Technical Fact-Finding Commission concludes its inquiry and report.
Author:
Abdelrahman Mounir
Legally Reviewed by:
Shams Eddien

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