By Essam Mustafa
Essam Mustafa Law Office
Port Said, Egypt
Ship Arrest in Egypt: Important Documents to Prepare Before the Arrest Procedures
According to the Egyptian Maritime Trade Law, to obtain a ship arrest order, several legal procedures must be fulfilled. Some of these procedures have to be fulfilled before the arrival of the ship to the Egyptian ports and others are fulfilled after the arrival of the ship.
Time is of the essence in ship arrest. Accordingly, these procedures have to be done in a quick manner. Before the ship arrives at the Egyptian ports, every hour counts to be able to prepare all the required legal documents to obtain an arrest order. Furthermore, time is, also, important after the ship’s arrival in order to succeed in getting an order from the court before the ship leaves the port.
Before contacting an Egyptian attorney to obtain an order to arrest a ship in Egyptian territorial waters, the creditor must prepare a few essential legal documents before the ship arrives at the Egyptian ports. These documents must be sent before the ship’s arrival (about five days before arrival at least). Without these documents, the lawyer won’t be able to obtain a ship arrest order. These documents are the following:
- A Power of Attorney (‘POA’):
The arresting party (i.e. the creditor) must grant a power of attorney to the Egyptian lawyer who will initiate the arrest procedures. Usually, the lawyer will send the required form for the power of attorney to the claimant. After that, the claimant will sign it and get it notarized in the notary public in the claimant’s country.
After finishing the notarization process, a claimant will go to the Egyptian consulate in his country to get authentication and an official stamp on the power of attorney. Finally, the claimant would send that power of attorney to the Egyptian lawyer to continue the rest of the required legal procedures.
Please note, this power of attorney will give the lawyer the right to initiate the ship arrest procedures and represent the claimant in front of the Egyptian courts. Without having the power of attorney before the ship’s arrival at Egyptian ports, a lawyer cannot initiate any procedures. That is why it is highly important to contact the Egyptian lawyer and send him the power of attorney as soon as possible.
2. Documents Proving the Maritime Claim
Before the ship arrives at the Egyptian ports, an arresting party (‘A claimant or Creditor’) must send all the documents proving his/her maritime claim to the Egyptian lawyer. Moreover, he/she must send all the correspondence between him/her and the ship owners.
All these documents have to be translated to Arabic in order to be accepted in front of Egyptian courts. Arabic is the official and only language accepted in the Egyptian judiciary. Without translating the documents, the court would refuse the ship arrest request. Therefore, the creditor can either translate all the documents to Arabic or send them to the Egyptian lawyer to get them translated by the court’s official translators.
More importantly, as we’ve mentioned before, all these translated documents must be sent to the lawyer before the ship arrives at the Egyptian ports.
3. Documents Indicating the Details of the Vessel to be Arrested
All the details of the ship to be arrested must be sent to the Egyptian lawyer to be able to track her and check her date of arrival using the tracking websites. Normally, before the Egyptian courts issue an arrest order, they ask for an official certificate from the Ports Authorities in the Arab Republic of Egypt to make sure that the ship is now located in one of the Egyptian ports and is mooring. Finally, after submitting the official certificate, the court will review all the documents and issue the ship arrest order in two working days maximum.