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Ilyashev & Partners Managed to Release the Egyptian Shipowner’s Vessel from Berdiansk Sea Port

News date: 10 February 2021

The team of Odesa office of Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm ensured the free exit of the Egyptian shipowner’s vessel, which was actually detained on 16 January 2021 in Berdiansk Sea Port upon execution of a protocol on violation of customs regulations by the Dnipro Customs Office inspector in respect of the cargo on board. The protocol was drawn up based on a letter from the Territorial Department of the State Bureau of Investigation in Melitopol to the Dnipro Customs Office, according to which for the purpose of customs clearance of a part of cargo, namely, 5500 tons of wheat, the shipper provided documents allegedly containing false information about the country of origin.

Contrary to the provisions of the Customs Code of Ukraine, within 18 days from the date of the report, the customs authority failed to take any steps to unload the wheat, and used the vessel as a warehouse, preventing it from exit. The omissions of the customs officers have not only caused significant losses to the shipowner, but also posed a risk of destruction of (damage to) cargo: a lot of wheat priced at more than UISD 1.5 million.

The Egyptian shipowner and one of the world’s largest P&I Clubs instructed the Odesa office of Ilyashev & Partners to investigate the situation related to the long delay in the customs clearance of vessel and cargo.

The attorneys of Odesa office of Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm have promptly undertaken all necessary measures to appeal against the omissions of the customs authorities and to unload the goods as soon as possible in order to ensure the free exit of vessel from the port. In response to the numerous inquiries, applications, complaints and demands, as well as following the involvement of the Business Ombudsman Council, within 5 working days after being involved in the case the shipowner’s attorneys managed to ensure – within a framework of the out-of-court resolution – that the customs authority actually remove 5 500 tons of wheat from the vessel. The charterer in the shortest time possible replaced the temporarily removed goods with a similar lot, thereby saving the freight.