A recent revision of the Brussels I Regulation has made it possible for the Rotterdam court to quickly arrest ships anywhere in the EU if parties include in their contracts a choice of forum clause conferring jurisdiction on the Rotterdam court, according to the local law firm AKD.
The Brussels 1 Regulation provides uniform rules throughout the EU on international jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of civil and commercial judgments.
”The Netherlands is already widely recognised as a ship arrest haven, and its procedural law provides an effective means by which to obtain security in advance of main proceedings against a debtor,” AKD partner Haco van der Houven van Oordt said.
”The new Brussels 1 Regulation effectively means that the whole of the EU is now a potential ship arrest haven for those who initiate action through the Rotterdam court. The only proviso is that the Rotterdam court has jurisdiction on the merits of the claim. The willingness of the Rotterdam court to allow seizure of the assets in EU member states other than The Netherlands was underlined earlier this year when the court granted leave to arrest the pusher-barge Navin 24 in either Germany or Austria in a dispute involving non-payment of hire under a time charter. Jurisdiction was based on a choice of forum clause in the time-charter, which vested jurisdiction to the Rotterdam court.”