Ever Given owner and insurer appeal $900m Suez Canal claim

The owner of the Ever Given has filed an appeal against the arrest of the container ship and its cargo, which has been held by the Suez Canal Authority since the ship was freed from blocking the canal for almost a week last month.

The vessel’s professional and indemnity (P&I) insurer UK P&I Club said it has not been possible for Japanese owner Shoei Kisen Kaisha to reach an out-of-court agreement with the authorities, adding that it is still working in “good faith” to reach an “amicable resolution”.

The appeal, lodged to the Ismailia court in Egypt, says there is lack of evidence for the Suez Canal Authority’s “very significant claim” for $916m. It also questions the validity of the arrest in respect of the cargo. The appeal will be heard on 4 May.

The vessel’s owner and UK P&I Club offered “a carefully considered and generous offer” to the authority to settle their claims earlier this month before the arrest, the statement read. The UK P&I Club said the grounding did not result in pollution or injuries and the canal route was cleared after six days.

“The P&I aspects of the claim are relatively modest,” the insurer said, adding that the authority’s claim for loss of reputation is disputed.

The Suez Canal Authority said it will hold the Ever Given in Egypt, and detain its crew onboard, until compensation is paid.

Two of the 25 crew have been allowed to leave the ship on compassionate grounds and two additional crew members have joined the vessel, which UK P&I Club said is well provisioned. All 25 crew members are Indian nationals.

“The UK Club’s priority remains the fair and swift resolution of the Suez Canal Authority’s claim to enable the vessel to continue on her intended voyage and to allow the crew to leave Egypt,” the P&I club said.

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