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Ever Given ship manager opposes Egypt's seizure of vessel

SUEZ, EGYPT - MARCH 28: The container ship, the Ever Given, is seen from a village near the Suez Canal on March 28, 2021 in Suez, Egypt. Work continues to free the Ever Given, a huge container ship stuck sideways in Egypt's Suez Canal. The ship ran aground in the canal on March 23, after being caught in 40-knot winds. Dredgers have been working on the port side of the ship in an attempt to remove sand and mud and dislodge the vessel. The Suez Canal is one of the worlds busiest shipping lanes and the blockage has created a backlog of vessels at either end, raising concerns over the impact the accident will have on global shipping and supply chains. (Photo by Mahmoud Khaled/Getty Images)
The container ship, the Ever Given, is seen from a village near the Suez Canal on March 28, 2021 in Suez, Egypt [Mahmoud Khaled/Getty Images]

Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), the technical managers of the containership the Ever Given that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week, disagrees with the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) decision to seize the vessel until its owners pay $900 million (€754 million) in damages.

"The SCA's decision to arrest the vessel is extremely disappointing. From the outset, BSM and the crew onboard have cooperated fully with all authorities, including the SCA and their respective investigations into the grounding. This included granting access to the Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) and other materials and data requested by the SCA," BSM CEO Ian Beveridge announced in a statement.

According to the statement, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has conducted an extensive inspection of the vessel, including underwater inspections. Based on these inspections, the vessel has been declared suitable for onward passage to Port Said, where she will be assessed again before departing for Rotterdam, Netherlands.

"However, BSM has been informed by the vessel's owner that the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) began arrest procedures against the vessel. Currently, the vessel remains anchored in Great Bitter Lake until an agreement between the SCA and the vessel's owner has been reached," the statement added.

On 23 March, 2021, the Ever Given ran aground while transiting northbound under pilotage through the Suez Canal en route to Rotterdam. The vessel was safely re-floated on 29 March, 2021.

However, this week, the Egyptian Suez Canal Authority seized Ever Given due to the owners' failure to pay $900 million (€754 million).

SCA chief Osama Rabie told the state-run newspaper Al-Ahram that the sum was calculated based on: "The losses incurred by the grounded vessel as well as the flotation and maintenance costs, according to a court ruling handed down by the Ismailia Economic Court."

READ: Israel is taking advantage of the Suez Canal accident to push its alternatives

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