Ship Arrest & Release
We have pioneered ship arrests in Montenegro and have been actively using ships arrest warrants to secure claims raised against ship-owners/managers. Our clients can also appreciate the utmost best practice of ship release or prevention from arrest.
We are proud to be one of the most experienced and well respected local firms practicing this section of Maritime Law. Even though we always aim at settling claims amicably we have gained a wealth of court litigation experience. As a member of Shiparrested.com network, a vast network of our partners can be used to assist our clients in resolving their difficulties in various jurisdictions as well.
Overview of Ship Arrest Practice in Montengero
According to Montenegrin law the arrest of ships is one of the “temporary injunction measures” of security of a claim that ensures future collection of the outstanding debt which is the matter of dispute. Comprehensive set of rules governing procedure of arrest of a ship are contained in Marine and Inland Navigation Act, 1998 (hereinafter: MINA). International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to the Arrest of Sea-Going Ships 1952 (Arrest Convention, 1952) is applicable in Montenegro and consequently the MINA, 1998 is mostly set out in line with the said Convention. It is worth noting that Montenegro has made reservation to apply domestic rules for disputes as to the title to or ownership of any ship (Article1, paragraph (1)(o)). The Law on Enforcement and Security of Claims applies as a subsidiary source of rules of law to the MINA, 1998 that regulates arrest of ship proceedings.
A ship can be arrested for Maritime claims as provided by Article 1 of the Arrest Convention, 1952 but when Convention is not applicable for all other claims notwithstanding to the nature if there is no reciprocity between Montenegro and the state of the flag. If reciprocity exists, the right to arrest a ship shall be limited to maritime claims listed in the MINA, 1998. The list of maritime claims in the MINA, 1998 is very similar to maritime claims listed in the Arrest Convention, 1952. The applicant (arresting party) may arrest any ship owned by the person (debtor) against the claim is directed.
Overview of Ship Release Practice in Montenegro
The procedure of ship release is quite simple and expeditious. The ship owner may deposit with the court the security amount which should be equal to the amount for which the arrest has been ordered. The security must be provided by way of a cash deposit in the court account or in the form of a bank guarantee, only if it is accepted by the arresting party. The court may order the security only in the amount for which the arresting party had made probable the main claim and according to the standard of lower level of proof of claim but without costs and interest thereon, which is very difficult to assess in the early stage of proceedings. Providing a security in a lower amount would be possible only upon agreement with the arresting party. The release order is served to the ship’s master through Harbor Master’s Office to whom the power is presented to act for and on behalf of the court.