Arrest Convention 1999


  • Date: 06/08/2010

1. The General Assembly of the United Nations, by resolution 52/182 of

18 December 1997, endorsed the convening of a Diplomatic Conference in order to

consider and adopt a convention on arrest of ships.

2. The United Nations/International Maritime Organization Diplomatic

Conference on Arrest of Ships was convened at Geneva from 1 to 12 March 1999.

3. Representatives from the following States participated in the Conference:

Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria,

Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba,

Cyprus, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia,

Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece,

Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of),

Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Lithuania,

Madagascar, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco,

Mozambique, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines,

Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal,

Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden,

Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia,

Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and

Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Uruguay,

Viet Nam, and Yemen.

4. Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China and Macao, associate

members of the International Maritime Organization, were represented by

observers.

5. The following intergovernmental organizations were represented by an

observer: Arab Labour Organization, Organization of African Unity, Organization

of American States, Organization of the Islamic Conference, Intergovernmental

Organization for International Carriage by Rail.

6. The following non-governmental organizations were represented by an

observer: general category: International Chamber of Commerce, International

Confederation of Free Trade Unions, World Federation of United Nations

Associations; special category: International Ship Suppliers Association,

International Association of Ports and Harbours, Latin American Association of

Navigational Law and Law of the Sea, International Chamber of Shipping, Comité

Maritime International, Institute of International Container Lessors, IberoA/

American Institute of Maritime Law, International Group of P&I Clubs,

International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

7. The Conference elected the following officers:

President: Mr. Zhu Zengjie (China)

Vice-Presidents: Mrs. Ida Barinova (Russian Federation)

Mr. Marc Gauthier (Canada)

Mr. Mykola Maimeskul (Ukraine)

Mr. Mahmoud Bahey Eldin Ibrahim Nasrah (Egypt)

Mr. Eladio Peñaloza (Panama)

Mr. Luigi Rovelli (Italy)

Mr. Lalchand K. Sheri (Singapore)

Rapporteur-General: Mr. Walter de Sa’Leitao (Brazil)

8. The Conference established a Main Committee, a Drafting Committee and a Credentials Committee.

Main Committee

Chairman: Mr. K.J. Gombrii (Norway)

Members: open-ended

Drafting Committee

Chairman: Mr. Malcolm J. Williams, Jr. (United States of America)

Core members: Algeria, Argentina, Belgium, China, Côte d’Ivoire,

Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana,

Lithuania, Mexico, Russian Federation, Spain, Sri Lanka,

Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and

Northern Ireland, and United States of America.

Credentials Committee

Chairman: Ms. Sama Payman (Australia)

Members: Australia, Benin, Brazil, China, Haiti, Mozambique,

Philippines, Russian Federation, United States of

America.

9. The secretariat of the Conference included the following officers:

Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Mr. Rubens Ricupero; Executive Secretary,

Mr. Jean Gurunlian, Director, Division for Services Infrastructure for

Development and Trade Efficiency, UNCTAD; Deputy Executive Secretary,

Mrs. Rosalie Balkin, Director, Legal Affairs and External Relations Division,

IMO; Mrs. Monica N. Mbanefo, Senior Deputy Director, IMO; Mr. Agustín Blanco-

Bazán, Senior Legal Officer, IMO; Ms. Mahin Faghfouri, Head, Legal Unit, SITE,

UNCTAD; Mr. Carlos Moreno, Legal Officer, SITE, UNCTAD; Mr. Erik Chrispeels,

Senior Legal Officer, UNCTAD; Mr. Awni Behnam, Secretary of the Conference,

UNCTAD; Mr. Karma Tenzing, Deputy Secretary of the Conference, UNCTAD.

10. The Conference had before it, as a basis for its work, the draft articles

for a convention on arrest of ships1, prepared by the Joint UNCTAD/IMO

Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Maritime Liens and Mortgages and Related

Subjects, and the compilation of comments and proposals by Governments, and by

intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, on the draft convention on

arrest of ships2. The Conference adopted its rules of procedure3 and its agenda.4

11. On the basis of its deliberations as recorded in its report,5 the Conference established the text of the

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON ARREST OF SHIPS, 1999.

12. The text of the Convention was adopted by the Conference on 12 March 1999.

The Convention will be open for signature at United Nations Headquarters,

New York, from 1 September 1999 to and including 31 August 2000.

Done in Geneva, on this twelfth day of March, one thousand nine hundred and

ninety-nine, in one original in the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and

Spanish languages, all texts being equally authentic. The original of the Final

Act shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations Secretariat.

Zhu Zengjie

President of the Conference

R. Ricupero

Secretary-General of UNCTAD

J. Gurunlian

Executive Secretary of the Conference

R. Balkin

Deputy Executive Secretary of the Conference

M. Faghfouri

Head, Legal Unit, SITE

E. Chrispeels

Senior Legal Officer

A. Behnam

Secretary of the Conference

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned representatives have signed this Final Act.

The States whose representatives signed the Final Act are: Algeria,

Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China, Colombia,

Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia,

Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras,

Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania,

Madagascar, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Monaco, Mozambique, Netherlands,

Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Republic of

Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan,

Syrian Arab Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine,

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of

Tanzania, United States of America, and Viet Nam.

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON ARREST OF SHIPS, 1999

The States Parties to this Convention,

Recognizing the desirability of facilitating the harmonious and orderly

development of world seaborne trade,

Convinced of the necessity for a legal instrument establishing

international uniformity in the field of arrest of ships which takes account of

recent developments in related fields,

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1

Definitions

For the purposes of this Convention:

1. "Maritime Claim" means a claim arising out of one or more of the following:

(a) loss or damage caused by the operation of the ship;

(b) loss of life or personal injury occurring, whether on land or on

water, in direct connection with the operation of the ship;

(c) salvage operations or any salvage agreement, including, if

applicable, special compensation relating to salvage operations in

respect of a ship which by itself or its cargo threatened damage to

the environment;

(d) damage or threat of damage caused by the ship to the environment,

coastline or related interests; measures taken to prevent, minimize,

or remove such damage; compensation for such damage; costs of

reasonable measures of reinstatement of the environment actually

undertaken or to be undertaken; loss incurred or likely to be

incurred by third parties in connection with such damage; and

damage, costs, or loss of a similar nature to those identified in

this subparagraph (d);

(e) costs or expenses relating to the raising, removal, recovery,

destruction or the rendering harmless of a ship which is sunk,

wrecked, stranded or abandoned, including anything that is or has

been on board such ship, and costs or expenses relating to the

preservation of an abandoned ship and maintenance of its crew;

(f) any agreement relating to the use or hire of the ship, whether

contained in a charter party or otherwise;

(g) any agreement relating to the carriage of goods or passengers on

board the ship, whether contained in a charter party or otherwise;

(h) loss of or damage to or in connection with goods (including luggage)

carried on board the ship;

(i) general average;

(j) towage;

(k) pilotage;

(l) goods, materials, provisions, bunkers, equipment (including

containers) supplied or services rendered to the ship for its

operation, management, preservation or maintenance;

(m) construction, reconstruction, repair, converting or equipping of the

ship;

(n) port, canal, dock, harbour and other waterway dues and charges;

(o) wages and other sums due to the master, officers and other members

of the ship's complement in respect of their employment on the ship,

including costs of repatriation and social insurance contributions

payable on their behalf;

(p) disbursements incurred on behalf of the ship or its owners;

(q) insurance premiums (including mutual insurance calls) in respect of

the ship, payable by or on behalf of the shipowner or demise

charterer;

(r) any commissions, brokerages or agency fees payable in respect of the

ship by or on behalf of the shipowner or demise charterer;

(s) any dispute as to ownership or possession of the ship;

(t) any dispute between co-owners of the ship as to the employment or

earnings of the ship;

(u) a mortgage or a "hypothèque" or a charge of the same nature on the

ship;

(v) any dispute arising out of a contract for the sale of the ship.

2. "Arrest" means any detention or restriction on removal of a ship by order

of a Court to secure a maritime claim, but does not include the seizure of a ship

in execution or satisfaction of a judgment or other enforceable instrument.

3. "Person" means any individual or partnership or any public or private body,

whether corporate or not, including a State or any of its constituent

subdivisions.

4. "Claimant" means any person asserting a maritime claim.

5. "Court" means any competent judicial authority of a State.

Article 2

Powers of arrest

1. A ship may be arrested or released from arrest only under the authority of

a Court of the State Party in which the arrest is effected.

2. A ship may only be arrested in respect of a maritime claim but in respect

of no other claim.

3. A ship may be arrested for the purpose of obtaining security

notwithstanding that, by virtue of a jurisdiction clause or arbitration clause

in any relevant contract, or otherwise, the maritime claim in respect of which

the arrest is effected is to be adjudicated in a State other than the State where

the arrest is effected, or is to be arbitrated, or is to be adjudicated subject

to the law of another State.

4. Subject to the provisions of this Convention, the procedure relating to the

arrest of a ship or its release shall be governed by the law of the State in

which the arrest was effected or applied for.

Article 3

Exercise of right of arrest

1. Arrest is permissible of any ship in respect of which a maritime claim is

asserted if:

(a) the person who owned the ship at the time when the maritime claim

arose is liable for the claim and is owner of the ship when the

arrest is effected; or

(b) the demise charterer of the ship at the time when the maritime claim

arose is liable for the claim and is demise charterer or owner of

the ship when the arrest is effected; or

(c) the claim is based upon a mortgage or a "hypothèque" or a charge of

the same nature on the ship; or

(d) the claim relates to the ownership or possession of the ship; or

(e) the claim is against the owner, demise charterer, manager or

operator of the ship and is secured by a maritime lien which is

granted or arises under the law of the State where the arrest is

applied for.

2. Arrest is also permissible of any other ship or ships which, when the

arrest is effected, is or are owned by the person who is liable for the maritime

claim and who was, when the claim arose:

(a) owner of the ship in respect of which the maritime claim arose; or

(b) demise charterer, time charterer or voyage charterer of that ship.

This provision does not apply to claims in respect of ownership or possession of

a ship.

3. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article, the

arrest of a ship which is not owned by the person liable for the claim shall be

permissible only if, under the law of the State where the arrest is applied for,

a judgment in respect of that claim can be enforced against that ship by judicial

or forced sale of that ship.

Article 4

Release from arrest

1. A ship which has been arrested shall be released when sufficient security

has been provided in a satisfactory form, save in cases in which a ship has been

arrested in respect of any of the maritime claims enumerated in article 1,

paragraphs 1 (s) and (t). In such cases, the Court may permit the person in

possession of the ship to continue trading the ship, upon such person providing

sufficient security, or may otherwise deal with the operation of the ship during

the period of the arrest.

2. In the absence of agreement between the parties as to the sufficiency and

form of the security, the Court shall determine its nature and the amount

thereof, not exceeding the value of the arrested ship.

3. Any request for the ship to be released upon security being provided shall

not be construed as an acknowledgement of liability nor as a waiver of any

defence or any right to limit liability.

4. If a ship has been arrested in a non-party State and is not released

although security in respect of that ship has been provided in a State Party in

respect of the same claim, that security shall be ordered to be released on

application to the Court in the State Party.

5. If in a non-party State the ship is released upon satisfactory security in

respect of that ship being provided, any security provided in a State Party in

respect of the same claim shall be ordered to be released to the extent that the

total amount of security provided in the two States exceeds:

(a) the claim for which the ship has been arrested, or

(b) the value of the ship,

whichever is the lower. Such release shall, however, not be ordered unless the

security provided in the non-party State will actually be available to the

claimant and will be freely transferable.

6. Where, pursuant to paragraph 1 of this article, security has been provided,

the person providing such security may at any time apply to the Court to have

that security reduced, modified, or cancelled.

Article 5

Right of rearrest and multiple arrest

1. Where in any State a ship has already been arrested and released or

security in respect of that ship has already been provided to secure a maritime

claim, that ship shall not thereafter be rearrested or arrested in respect of the

same maritime claim unless:

(a) the nature or amount of the security in respect of that ship already

provided in respect of the same claim is inadequate, on condition

that the aggregate amount of security may not exceed the value of

the ship; or

(b) the person who has already provided the security is not, or is

unlikely to be, able to fulfil some or all of that person’s

obligations; or

(c) the ship arrested or the security previously provided was released

either:

(i) upon the application or with the consent of the claimant

acting on reasonable grounds, or

(ii) because the claimant could not by taking reasonable steps

prevent the release.

2. Any other ship which would otherwise be subject to arrest in respect of the

same maritime claim shall not be arrested unless:

(a) the nature or amount of the security already provided in respect of

the same claim is inadequate; or

(b) the provisions of paragraph 1 (b) or (c) of this article are

applicable.

3. "Release" for the purpose of this article shall not include any unlawful

release or escape from arrest.

Article 6

Protection of owners and demise charterers of arrested ships

1. The Court may as a condition of the arrest of a ship, or of permitting an

arrest already effected to be maintained, impose upon the claimant who seeks to

arrest or who has procured the arrest of the ship the obligation to provide

security of a kind and for an amount, and upon such terms, as may be determined

by that Court for any loss which may be incurred by the defendant as a result of

the arrest, and for which the claimant may be found liable, including but not

restricted to such loss or damage as may be incurred by that defendant in

consequence of:

(a) the arrest having been wrongful or unjustified; or

(b) excessive security having been demanded and provided.

2. The Courts of the State in which an arrest has been effected shall have

jurisdiction to determine the extent of the liability, if any, of the claimant

for loss or damage caused by the arrest of a ship, including but not restricted

to such loss or damage as may be caused in consequence of:

(a) the arrest having been wrongful or unjustified, or

(b) excessive security having been demanded and provided.

3. The liability, if any, of the claimant in accordance with paragraph 2 of

this article shall be determined by application of the law of the State where the

arrest was effected.

4. If a Court in another State or an arbitral tribunal is to determine the

merits of the case in accordance with the provisions of article 7, then

proceedings relating to the liability of the claimant in accordance with

paragraph 2 of this article may be stayed pending that decision.

5. Where pursuant to paragraph 1 of this article security has been provided,

the person providing such security may at any time apply to the Court to have

that security reduced, modified or cancelled.

Article 7

Jurisdiction on the merits of the case

1. The Courts of the State in which an arrest has been effected or security

provided to obtain the release of the ship shall have jurisdiction to determine

the case upon its merits, unless the parties validly agree or have validly agreed

to submit the dispute to a Court of another State which accepts jurisdiction, or

to arbitration.

2. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1 of this article, the Courts

of the State in which an arrest has been effected, or security provided to obtain

the release of the ship, may refuse to exercise that jurisdiction where that

refusal is permitted by the law of that State and a Court of another State

accepts jurisdiction.

3. In cases where a Court of the State where an arrest has been effected or

security provided to obtain the release of the ship:

(a) does not have jurisdiction to determine the case upon its merits; or

(b) has refused to exercise jurisdiction in accordance with the

provisions of paragraph 2 of this article,

such Court may, and upon request shall, order a period of time within which the

claimant shall bring proceedings before a competent Court or arbitral tribunal.

4. If proceedings are not brought within the period of time ordered in

accordance with paragraph 3 of this article then the ship arrested or the

security provided shall, upon request, be ordered to be released.

5. If proceedings are brought within the period of time ordered in accordance

with paragraph 3 of this article, or if proceedings before a competent Court or

arbitral tribunal in another State are brought in the absence of such order, any

final decision resulting therefrom shall be recognized and given effect with

respect to the arrested ship or to the security provided in order to obtain its

release, on condition that:

(a) the defendant has been given reasonable notice of such proceedings

and a reasonable opportunity to present the case for the defence;

and

(b) such recognition is not against public policy (ordre public).

6. Nothing contained in the provisions of paragraph 5 of this article shall

restrict any further effect given to a foreign judgment or arbitral award under

the law of the State where the arrest of the ship was effected or security

provided to obtain its release.

Article 8

Application

1. This Convention shall apply to any ship within the jurisdiction of any

State Party, whether or not that ship is flying the flag of a State Party.

2. This Convention shall not apply to any warship, naval auxiliary or other

ships owned or operated by a State and used, for the time being, only on

government non-commercial service.

3. This Convention does not affect any rights or powers vested in any

Government or its departments, or in any public authority, or in any dock or

harbour authority, under any international convention or under any domestic law

or regulation, to detain or otherwise prevent from sailing any ship within their

jurisdiction.

4. This Convention shall not affect the power of any State or Court to make

orders affecting the totality of a debtor's assets.

5. Nothing in this Convention shall affect the application of international

conventions providing for limitation of liability, or domestic law giving effect

thereto, in the State where an arrest is effected.

6. Nothing in this Convention shall modify or affect the rules of law in force

in the States Parties relating to the arrest of any ship physically within the

jurisdiction of the State of its flag procured by a person whose habitual

residence or principal place of business is in that State, or by any other person

who has acquired a claim from such person by subrogation, assignment or

otherwise.

Article 9

Non-creation of maritime liens

Nothing in this Convention shall be construed as creating a maritime lien.

Article 10

Reservations

1. Any State may, at the time of signature, ratification, acceptance,

approval, or accession, or at any time thereafter, reserve the right to exclude

the application of this Convention to any or all of the following :

(a) ships which are not seagoing;

(b) ships not flying the flag of a State Party;

(c) claims under article 1, paragraph 1 (s).

2. A State may, when it is also a State Party to a specified treaty on

navigation on inland waterways, declare when signing, ratifying, accepting,

approving or acceding to this Convention, that rules on jurisdiction, recognition

and execution of court decisions provided for in such treaties shall prevail over

the rules contained in article 7 of this Convention.

Article 11

Depositary

This Convention shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the

United Nations.

Article 12

Signature, ratification, acceptance, approval and accession

1. This Convention shall be open for signature by any State at the

Headquarters of the United Nations, New York, from 1 September 1999 to

31 August 2000 and shall thereafter remain open for accession.

2. States may express their consent to be bound by this Convention by:

(a) signature without reservation as to ratification, acceptance or

approval; or

(b) signature subject to ratification, acceptance or approval, followed

by ratification, acceptance or approval; or

(c) accession.

3. Ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be effected by the

deposit of an instrument to that effect with the depositary.

Article 13

States with more than one system of law

1. If a State has two or more territorial units in which different systems of

law are applicable in relation to matters dealt with in this Convention, it may

at the time of signature, ratification, acceptance, approval or accession declare

that this Convention shall extend to all its territorial units or only to one or

more of them and may modify this declaration by submitting another declaration

at any time.

2. Any such declaration shall be notified to the depositary and shall state

expressly the territorial units to which the Convention applies.

3. In relation to a State Party which has two or more systems of law with

regard to arrest of ships applicable in different territorial units, references

in this Convention to the Court of a State and the law of a State shall be

respectively construed as referring to the Court of the relevant territorial unit

within that State and the law of the relevant territorial unit of that State.

Article 14

Entry into force

1. This Convention shall enter into force six months following the date on

which 10 States have expressed their consent to be bound by it.

2. For a State which expresses its consent to be bound by this Convention

after the conditions for entry into force thereof have been met, such consent

shall take effect three months after the date of expression of such consent.

Article 15

Revision and amendment

1. A conference of States Parties for the purpose of revising or amending this

Convention shall be convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations at

the request of one-third of the States Parties.

2. Any consent to be bound by this Convention, expressed after the date of

entry into force of an amendment to this Convention, shall be deemed to apply to

the Convention, as amended.

Article 16

Denunciation

1. This Convention may be denounced by any State Party at any time after the

date on which this Convention enters into force for that State.

2. Denunciation shall be effected by deposit of an instrument of denunciation

with the depositary.

3. A denunciation shall take effect one year, or such longer period as may be

specified in the instrument of denunciation, after the receipt of the instrument

of denunciation by the depositary.

Article 17

Languages

This Convention is established in a single original in the Arabic, Chinese,

English, French, Russian and Spanish languages, each text being equally

authentic.

DONE AT Geneva this twelfth day of March, one thousand nine hundred and

ninety-nine.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned being duly authorized by their

respective Governments for that purpose have signed this Convention.

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