Article by Georges Hardegger, Account Executive Marine, International Trade, Logistics and Fine Art,
IBC Insurance Broking and Consulting Lugano
“Ever Given” or better “Never Get” indemnities for the delay in the global trade?
The “Ever Given” (about 400 meters in length, roughly the height of the Empire State Building) was caught in a sandstorm while crossing the Suez Canal, the crew was unable to steer the ship which deviates and stuck into the border of the Suez Canal.
Who is responsible?
Two SCA (Suez Canal Authority) official maritime pilots were on board at the time of the incident. They were in charge to command the ship, taking over from the regular crew and the captain. Independent experts argue that their role is often a mere presence and the captain has the final responsibility. The Egyptians authorities are supporting obviously this understanding of the facts; the ship-owner is blaming obviously the sandstorm. Independent observers might suggest a combination of the causes. By the way . . . the Suez Canal’s own policies suggest it’s not to blame, even if its pilots were at the helm of a ship that ran aground.
The 224,000-ton vessel, immobilized on March 23 within the Suez Canal was dislodged on March 29 by the force of several rescue teams with 14 tugboats and multiple dredgers at high tide. On Apr. 13, the “Ever Given” has been immobilized again: this time however by the chains of the Egyptian justice. It was seized by a court in Ismailia after a request of the SCA for compensations estimated initially at USD 916m, including lost revenue for the canal, USD 300m for the salvage (equipment plus 800 people that worked to free the ship) and USD 300m for loss of reputation. The Egyptian State did not say who would be responsible for paying the USD 916m in damages.
Currently the Egyptian Court rejected the request for release the “Ever Given” from arrest; it’s therefore still kept in the Great Bitter Lakes; additionally Egypt has reduced on May 8 its USD 916m compensation claim for the grounding of the Ever Given to USD 600m and then (May 26) to USD 550m. The SCA reduced the value of the required compensation by 40 % after they obtained the estimated financial value of the goods on the ship.
The rescue story is now over. The story for the Legal and Insurance Implications just started.
There are different insurance sectors that are impacted such as
- Hull & Machinery (H&M)
- Marine & Cargo and
- Protection & Indemnity (P&I)
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