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Maersk reveals Maersk Tigris seizure likely over ten-year old case

Copenhagen: Maersk has revealed this morning that following a meeting with the Ports & Maritime Organization in Iran and based on media statements made by Iranian officials, the company believes that the seizure of Maersk Tigris is related to a cargo case dating back to 2005.

As reported by Splash earlier today, the company has not received any written or formal confirmation in regards to the seizure and whether it is connected to the ten-year old cargo case.

In an emailed statement to Splash, Maersk said that early January 2005, 10 containers arrived in Dubai, which Maersk Line had transported on behalf of an Iranian company. The containers were never collected by the consignee or any other party, so after 90 days and in accordance with UAE law, the cargo was disposed of by UAE authorities.

The Iranian company subsequently accused Maersk Line of default before the Tehran Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office and claimed recovery of $4m as the value of the cargo. Maersk challenged the suit and in 2007 the case was dismissed. The case then went before the Iranian district courts in 2009, and 2009. The Iranian company then initiated civil proceedings in the Tehran Public Civil Court.

In February 2015, the appeal court of Tehran ordered Maersk Line to pay the company $163,000 which Maersk said it was willing to do, however the Iranian company appealed seeking a higher compensation.

It has come to light this morning that the appeal court has ruled Maersk Line to pay $3.6m, however Maersk has said that it still does not have details of the ruling, and cannot comment on the matter or speculate on its options.

Lastly, Maersk has said it will continue to do everything we can to resolve this matter with the relevant Iranian authorities.

The vessel remains under Iranian custody at Shahid Bahonar Port in the Strait of Hormuz.

Hans Thaulow

Hans Henrik Thaulow is an Oslo-based journalist who has been covering the shipping industry for the last 15 years. As well as some work for the Informa Group, Hans was the China correspondent for TradeWinds. He also contributes to Maritime CEO magazine. Hans’ shipping background extends to working as a shipbroker trainee with Simpson, Spence & Young in Hong Kong.
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