Agency Fee

The Convention was ratified by a gratifyingly large number of countries probably due to the fact that it is the arresting party who benefits most from it, thus it is attractive to non-maritime nations.  Because high on the list of what constitutes a “maritime claim” is in regard to collision damage, most maritime states have also ratified although some were surprisingly slow to do so. The convention includes some items which were not previously considered as maritime claims, for example brokerage comes within the freight and hire provision and the definition of disbursements is wider although it is still arguable whether an agency fee is included as a disbursement.  The convention also permits the arrest of a sister ship but is firm in its definition that all the shares in such a ship have to be owned by the same party.  The role of a bareboat charterer is recognised as being the same as that of the owner. Local laws still have a considerable impact on the simplicity or otherwise of arresting a ship and before contemplating doing so, practitioners should take heed of professional advice as to the optimum choice of port to effect the arrest.  That same source of advice should be heeded as regards the likelihood of success because meeting claims for false arrest can be severely expensive. There is a more recent convention, The International Convention on Arrest of Ships 1999. This convention has not yet been ratified into English Law and as at November 2001, only four states have signed.