Las Palmas Commercial Court refuses ownership claim contesting an enforcement action


The Commercial Court number 2 of Las Palmas (Canaries) has refused the claim put forward by the alleged owners of the ship.

This case has been running since the ship was arrested in May 2013 for the owner’s failure to pay supply claims which at that time were already embodied into an Irish judgment against the owners.

The ship was arrested under the 1999 Convention as a fast track way to prevent the ship from leaving Las Palmas immediately. After the allegations of the opponents the Court decided to lift the arrest on the basis there was already a judgment, bringing the arrest outside the scope of the 1999 Convention. The Court of Appeal took the same view. However, as early as in June 2013 the ship had been arrested again, this time, by virtue of an enforcement action based on the Irish judgment under the 44/2001 Regulation.

As the ship was arrested her actual owners and debtors under the Irish judgment did not appear before the Court, but an off shore Company claiming to be the current owners of the vessel.

In the enforcement of the judgment proceedings the alleged new owners have presented an ownership claim and tried to convince the Court that they are the actual owners of the ship. However, and despite the efforts, the Commercial Court has held that on the documentary evidence before the judge such allegation should fail as, inter alia: the ship continues registered in Ireland; no certificate of deletion has been provided; nor any evidence as to the mortgage on the ship has been produced. The alleged provisional registration of the ship in Panama in favour of the “new owners” has not convinced the Court to the contrary. The matter is now on appeal.

Arizon Abogados SLP acted for the claimants.

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