An Egyptian court decided on Tuesday to confiscate the massive vessel Ever Given that had blocked the Suez canal for nearly a week until 900 million U.S. dollars’ compensation is paid, state-run Ahram gate reported.
“The court’s decision will be sent to the ship’s captain today,” Ahram said. “The Panama-flagged ship is officially held in the Great Bitter Lake in Ismailia Province, northeast of Cairo, due to the procrastination of the Japanese owner of the skyscraper-sized Ever Given in paying the compensation,” the report quoted Osama Rabie, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), as saying.
In accordance with the maritime laws, the Economic Court in Ismailia has approved a request by the SCA to officially seize the ship until compensations are paid.
“We were discussing with the ship’s owner a peaceful resolution to the matter without resorting to the judiciary,” Rabie said, adding the Japanese owner was negotiating on 90 percent of the amount demanded by the SCA.
The SCA’s chairman noted the court decision doesn’t mean an end of the negotiations with the ship’s owner to settle the crisis.That amount takes into account the salvage operation, costs of stalled traffic, and loss of transit fees during the week when Ever Given blocked the canal, he explained.
The container ship ran aground on March 23 in Suez Canal, and the traffic resumed on March 29 after it had been successfully refloated.