16 May 2012

Ukraine: the Brussels Convention and new procedural rules for vessel arrest come into force on 16 May 2012


Last year Ukraine acceded to the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules relating to the Arrest of Sea-going Ships, known as the Brussels Convention (1952).

Accordingly, on 20 December 2011 the Law of Ukraine “On Amending Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Regarding Determination of Jurisdiction of Cases on the Arrest of Sea-going Ships” No.4190-VI (the "Law No. 4190-VI") was adopted.

Both the Brussels Convention and the Law No. 4190-VI come into force on 16 May 2012.

Previously, the arrest of ships has been regulated by the Merchant Shipping Code of Ukraine only. The latter determines the possibility for vessel arrest, but does not provide procedural rules for such an arrest.

The Law No. 4190-VI has supplemented the Civil Procedural Code of Ukraine and the Commercial Procedural Code of Ukraine with special provisions conferring jurisdiction to arrest the seagoing ships for security of a maritime claim to the courts of location of (i) the Ukrainian maritime port where the ship is or (ii) the port of registry of the ship.

Thus, one of the gaps existing in procedural legislation of Ukraine resulting in many practical problems in such cases has been filled.

In accordance with the Brussels Convention a vessel may only be arrested under the authority of a court or of the appropriate judicial authority of the Contracting State where the arrest is made. This  corresponds the Article 41 of Merchant Shipping Code of Ukraine which stipulates that a ship may be arrested under the decision of a court, commercial court or the Chairman of the Maritime Arbitration Commission at the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

As some other countries  Ukraine has reserved its right not to apply the provisions of the Convention to the warships and other state-owned vessels being operated with non-commercial purpose.

The accession of Ukraine to International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules relating to the Arrest of Sea-going Ships and respective amendment of its procedural legislation will contribute to implementation of the international standards of shipping into Ukrainian legislation and to development of respective court practice.

For more information please, contact Tatyana Slipachuk or Olena Perepelynska.


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