Rotterdam, 15 March 2018
Today the Rotterdam District Court rendered judgment in the case against several shipowning companies, group companies and executives within the Seatrade group of companies concerning ship dismantling and recycling in India, Bangladesh and Turkey back in 2012. The Regulation (Ec) No 1013/2006 of 14 June 2006 on Shipments of Waste (the ‘Regulation’) with associated regulations formed the basis for the case, in particular violation of art. 34 and/or art. 36 Regulation.
The court held that the intention was to dismantle the vessels in India. The fact that eventually three of the four vessels ended up in other countries where they were dismantled does not make a difference: at the time the vessels departed from Europe, the intended destination was India in order to dismantle the vessels, which the court held to be a proven fact. The court further held that the vessels qualified as waste destined for recovery on the basis that the primary purpose of dismantling was the recycling of steel. Although the vessels contained considerable amounts of hazardous waste, such as asbestos and CFC which had to be disposed off, the court held that nevertheless the recycling of steel was the purpose of the dismantling. On this basis the court dismissed the charges based on violation of art. 34 Regulation (prohibition of export of waste destined for disposal).
For the charges based on art. 36 Regulation (prohibition of export of waste destined for recovery to non-OECD countries) the court held that the vessels contained a mixture of both hazardous and non-hazardous waste. As such the export of the vessels was in violation of art. 36 Regulation par. 1 sub d.
In determining the sentences against the two remaining executives and the shipowning and group companies the court holds that the decision to export the vessels for dismantling in India was driven by commercial reasons only, despite a warning of the Dutch authorities. The suspects have not given consideration to the detrimental effects for health and environment which are caused by dismantling vessels in particular in India and Bangladesh. No measures were taken to diminish these effects, although eventually two of the vessels were dismantled in Turkey under better conditions for people and environment. Exporting the vessels to India is distorting competition with other shipowners who abide with the rules and regulations.
Because of the fact that this is the first time a case like this is tried in The Netherlands, the court will not impose a prison sentence, although in the opinion of the court the seriousness of the crimes committed do call for a prison sentence. The court sentences the executives which are found guilty to a fine of EUR 50,000 and a ban from being professionally involved with a shipowning company or related company in the position of director, advisor, employee or otherwise for the period of one year. The companies which are found guilty are sentenced to fines ranging from EUR 100,000 to EUR 750,000. One of the executives was not sentenced because the court held that criminal relevant involvement of this person was not established.
Report by Markwin Wattel, partner with DOCK Legal Experts
On 28 September the Amsterdam District Court rendered its decision on a claim of a physical supplier against an ship owner and time charterer for payment of bunkers which were sold and delivered via OW Bunker entities. Also ING Bank and the trustees were involved in the proceedings. In short the court held that a bunker requisition form and a bunker delivery note did not create a contractual relationship on the basis of which the owner or charterer were obliged to pay for the stem. The court further held that the physical suppliers’ T&C cannot be invoked against the owner or charterer. The physical supplier also presented a claim in tort in that the owner or charterer continued using the bunkers for the propulsion of the vessel, despite the fact that the physical supplier invoked its retention of title clause against the owner or charterer. The court held that the physical supplier can only invoke its right of retention of title against its contractual counterpart, OW Bunker, which the physical supplier failed to do. The court concludes that for that reason the owner and charterer did not act in tort. The physical supplier also tried to rely on a maritime lien under US law, which would allow the physical supplier to enforce its claim against OW Bunker against the vessel. The court held a maritime lien under US law cannot be created by contract. Even if a maritime lien would exist by law, the conditions for a maritime lien were not met because clearly the physical supplier did not contract with a representative of the vessel but instead with OW Bunker. Also under Dutch law a claim for unpaid bunkers of a physical supplier against a bunker trader does not qualify as a maritime claim.
De rechtbank Amsterdam heeft op 28 september 2016 vonnis gewezen in een kwestie tussen (de kredietverzekeraar van) een bunkerleverancier als eisers en de eigenaren en de tijdbevrachter van een schip en de liquidators en de security agent van OW Bunker als gedaagden.
Per 1 september 2016 geldt een nieuw landelijk procesreglement voor civiele dagvaardingszaken bij de gerechtshoven. Er is dus geen afwijkend reglement meer voor Amsterdam en 's-Hertogenbosch.
In 2015 en 2016 is het faillissement van een groot aantal winkelketens uitgesproken. V&D, McGregor, MacIntosh, Mexx, Miss Etam en Schoenenreus zijn enkele bekende voorbeelden, met MS Mode als meest recente op 11 augustus 2016. Door de huidige wijze van afwikkeling van de faillissementen zijn de verhuurders zeer sterk de dupe van deze faillissementen.
Since October 2014 The Rotterdam Court has been publishing English summaries of rulings issued by its Maritime Chamber. The Maritime Chamber deals with cases in the field of maritime law, transport law and international trade and because of their international nature, these cases are often also interesting for parties unable to understand Dutch. By providing summaries in English the Court enables foreign companies, lawyers and researchers to keep in touch with relevant developments in Dutch case law.
The Rotterdam Guarantee Form 2008 is not required in all circumstances. In case of English litigation an English Escrow Agreement containing a choice for English law and English jurisdiction and monies held in trust by solicitors in London constitutes adequate security in order to lift an arrest in Rotterdam.
Judgment from the President of the Court of Rotterdam dated 2nd August 2016.
Hoe zit het nu met het ontslaan of in dienst houden van werknemers die de AOW-leeftijd hebben bereikt?
Een verhuurder kan een huurovereenkomst opzeggen wegens dringend eigen gebruik. Maar wat is dringend eigen gebruik nu eigenlijk? Kunt u als huurder een dergelijke opzegging voorkomen? Heeft u recht op een vergoeding? Deze en andere vragen worden in dit artikel besproken en beantwoord.
De vervoerder van een lading is verplicht om de lading in dezelfde staat af te leveren als waarin hij deze in ontvangst nam. Wat nu als de vervoerder zijn lading niet kan afleveren? Hoe kan hij zich in dat geval van die verplichting ontdoen?
From 1 July 2016, Rotterdam based law firms Van Harmelen Beijneveld Van Houten and Jumelet Verhagen, have joined forces. Together, they operate under the name DOCK Legal Experts.