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02 December 2020
The three main purposes of ship arrests are:
Ship arrest regimes include:
The arrest of a vessel involves the local implementation of a national or international rule of law. Even if international rules are the same in different jurisdictions, their application may differ from country to country.
The new Belgian Maritime Code (NMBC) was passed on 4 April 2019 and came into force on 1 September 2020. The NMBC includes the following changes to the law on the arrest of sea-going vessels:
At present, the legal basis for ship arrests in Belgium is as follows:
either the particular ship in respect of which the maritime claim arose, or any other ship which is owned by the person who was, at the time when the maritime claim arose, the owner of the particular ship may be attached, even though the ship arrested be ready to sail (Article 3.1 of the Arrest Convention 1952).
The NBMC abrogates Articles 1,467 to 1,480 of the Judicial Code. The following similar or identical provisions to the abrogated provisions have been incorporated in the NBMC:
In addition to the Judicial Code and the NBMC, the following legislation is also relevant:
This combination of legal text consisting of international conventions, national and regional legislation is typical in transport matters.
Arrests and corporate law
Piercing the corporate veil
If one company is held liable for the debts of another, the courts will allow such a piercing of the veil when the separation between the companies is purely fictitious and the structure's only purpose is to escape creditors.(2)
Piercing the corporate veil abroad or alter ego liability
For example, where one party has used another to perpetuate fraud or has so dominated and disregarded the other party's corporate form that the other party primarily transacted the alleged alter ego's business rather than its own.(3)
Ship arrests for insolvency generally concern:
For further information on this topic please contact André Kegels at Kegels & Co by telephone (+32 3 257 1771) or email (email@example.com). The Kegels & Co website can be accessed at www.kegels-co.com.
(3) MAG Portfolio Consultant, GMBH v Merlin Biomed Group, LLC 268 F.3d 58, 63 (2d Cir 2001) and Chalos and D'Ambrosio, Alter Ego Allegations and Liability: Recent Decisions & Risks for the Shipping Industry, The Arbitrator, 4 November 2011, p 10.
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