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FAQ on protective ship arrest

Countries covered by this FAQ : Benin, Cameroon, Togo.

BENIN

Is it possible to find out if there is any pending arrest applications against a shipowner, a vessel or relating to the cargo or to the charterers of a vessel?

Arrest applications are ex-parte/not contradictory. However, there have been some leaks in the past.

If a vessel remains beyond 12nm off Lomé will it be protected from protective arrest ?

Theoretically yes, since Togo ratified the Montego Bay convention on the law of the sea, and therefore its sovereignty extends to 12nm from its baselines.

No. To our knowledge, no vessel has ever been arrested beyond 12 nautical miles in Cameroon.

What documents are requested in order to prepare for an arrest?

The requisite documents, as well as their translation into French by a local sworn translator, are:

NB:

  • Counsels do not need PoA;
  • No counter security is required;

What is the time frame to obtain an arrest order and enforce it?

Arrest orders are usually issued within 24 or 48 opening hours from their submission.

However, local regulation requires that a summon to pay be served to the debtor 24 hours before enforcing the warrant of arrest.

What is the time frame to challenge an enforced arrest order and obtain a release order?

There is no minimum or maximum duration. A period of 10 working days is generally observed, but this may last longer or shorter depending on the debates between the parties before the judge.

CAMEROON

Is it possible to find out if there is any pending arrest applications against a shipowner, a vessel or relating to the cargo or to the charterers of a vessel?

Arrest applications are ex-parte/not contradictory. However, there have been some leaks in the past.

If a vessel remains beyond 12nm off Lomé will it be protected from protective arrest ?

No. To our knowledge, no vessel has ever been arrested beyond 12 nautical miles in Cameroon.

What documents are requested in order to prepare for an arrest?

All documents supporting the alleged maritime claim between the debtor and the claimant; proof of bad faith from the debtor is recommended.

What is the time frame to obtain an arrest order and enforce it?

The arrest order is generally issued 5 working days after submitting the arrest application  to the Office of the President of the Court of First Instance. However before submitting its request, the applicant must compulsorily obtain the (advisory) opinion of the maritime authority (Ministry of Transport based in Yaounde), which takes several days to be delivered.

What is the time frame to challenge an enforced arrest order and obtain a release order?

There is no minimum or maximum duration. A period of 10 working days is generally observed, but this may last longer or shorter depending on the debates between the parties before the judge.

TOGO

Is it possible to find out if there is any pending arrest applications against a shipowner, a vessel or relating to the cargo or to the charterers of a vessel?

Arrest applications are ex-parte/not contradictory. However, there have been some leaks in the past.

If a vessel remains beyond 12nm off Lomé will it be protected from protective arrest ?

Theoretically yes, since Togo ratified the Montego Bay convention on the law of the sea, and therefore its sovereignty extends to 12nm from its baselines.

No. To our knowledge, no vessel has ever been arrested beyond 12 nautical miles in Cameroon.

What documents are requested in order to prepare for an arrest?

All documents supporting the alleged maritime claim between the debtor and the claimant; proof of bad faith from the debtor is recommended.

  • Claim’s supporting documents
  • Claimant’s registry certificate
  • Full Name of companies’ legal representative
  • Claimant’s phone number and e-mail address (recommanded)

NB:

  • Counsels do not need PoA;
  • No counter security is required;

What is the time frame to obtain an arrest order and enforce it?

The arrest order is generally issued 5 working days after submitting the arrest application  to the Office of the President of the Court of First Instance. However before submitting its request, the applicant must compulsorily obtain the (advisory) opinion of the maritime authority (Ministry of Transport based in Yaounde), which takes several days to be delivered.

What is the time frame to challenge an enforced arrest order and obtain a release order?

There is no minimum or maximum duration. A period of 10 working days is generally observed, but this may last longer or shorter depending on the debates between the parties before the judge.