Cargo owners on board Ever Given will be asked to jointly pay trillions of compensation for the Suez Canal

SUEZ, KOMPAS.com – Three weeks have passed since Ever Given was first trapped on the Suez Canal, the large container ship is still at anchor in the global trade waterway.

AFP reported on Wednesday (14/4/2021), the Egyptian authorities demanded the Japanese company that owns the ship pay 900 million US dollars (Rp.13.13 trillion) if the ship wanted to return to sailing.

“The ship will remain here until the investigation is complete and compensation is paid,” the head of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), Lieutenant General Osama Rabie, told a local news station.

Also read: Ever Given is still detained, the owner of the ship tries to negotiate the price of exemption from the Suez Canal

But Rabie has not publicly explained where the estimated losses came from. He also did not provide details on the cost of the incident.

According to Business Insider Claimed compensation costs are likely to include, inter alia, transit fees and ship release fees.

Refinitiv, a London-based financial firm, estimates that Egypt lost 95 million US dollars (Rp 1.4 trillion) during transit costs while Ever Given blocked Suez.

Meanwhile, the ship liberation process requires two dredgers, 11 tugboats of various sizes. There are also salaries for 800 Egyptian workers who operate around the clock to free the ship.

Other costs may include compensation for repair of damage to canals and other equipment used to free ships, such as excavators.

Also read: The Suez Canal is finally considering a canal widening option where Ever Given is stuck

Abdulgani Serang, secretary general and treasurer of the National Union of Seafarers in India, likened the demand for trillions of compensation referred to by the Head of the SCA as tantamount to a ransom.

According to him, the crew should not be detained beyond their wishes when the ship is anchored and not moving.

“If the SCA suffers a loss, they can settle it with the parties involved with the ship. But (they) are unable to detain the seafarers in any way,” Serang told Times of India.

Serang informs Insiders that although they are not allowed to leave the ship, the crew are not imprisoned or under house arrest.

“They are all on board and continue their work as needed on board,” said Serang.

“There is absolutely no reason to worry about their supplies, including all their wages being managed according to the union agreement as before the incident.”

Also read: Profile of Marwa Elselehdar, Egypt’s First Female Ship Captain to Be Blamed in the Suez Canal Incident

Neither Egypt nor the Suez Canal Authority explained who could be responsible for the full cost compensation request.

However, recent filings in London’s High Court show the costs can be split between Evergreen, insurance companies, and owners of cargo on board.

The owner of Ever Given made a claim “General Average“In early April, against Evergreen Marine Corp, the company that chartered the vessel.

The lawsuit includes 15 other defendants who are likely to be asked to intervene to cover the costs of the ship’s release.

“General Average” is a principle of maritime law which requires each customer of a ship to share the risks and costs, should the ship face tragedy or shipping failure.

Evergreen Marine received notification from lawyers representing Ever Given owners on April 1.

“It states that the owner has filed an Admiralty (maritime law) restriction claim in the High Court in the UK in accordance with the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, given the liabilities and compensation that may occur due to incidents of detention,” an Evergreen spokesman told Insider.

Also read: [Cerita Dunia] History of the Statue of Liberty, Originally Installed on the Suez Canal

Declaring the General Average will prevent the Shoei-Kisen (ship owner), and his insurance company from paying for most of the “damage” from the incident.

However, this process can lead to longer waiting times for all parties to receive goods that are still on the ship.

British International Freight Association announced that if a company had containers on board, they would be asked to “compensate or deposit.”

The statement also noted that “standard marine insurance policies” included General Average losses. So, if the company does not insure the ship, a cash deposit is required to receive the container.

“If a company has cargo on top of Ever Given without insurance and is unable to pay the deposit, it is possible that the cargo could be dumped,” he said release dari International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations.

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