Arresting Ships Made Easier – Draft Legislation on Maritime and Shipping Law

In earlier posts, I have complained about the difficulties of obtaining freezing orders in Germany. At least in one respect, there is hope: As part of an overhaul of Germany’s maritime and shipping laws, arresting ships will me made easier. The draft legislation published in May 2012 by the Ministry of Justice proposes to amend Sec. 917 German Code of Civil Procedure (Zivilprozessordnung) to that effect.

Creditors seeking to arrest a ship in Germany will no longer be required to show that there is a risk that a subsequent judgment could not be enforced because assets had in the meantime been dissipated with or other actions have been taken to make enforcement difficult or impossible (Arrestgrund). The argument is that this risk is, so to speak, imminent if you seek to arrest a ship.

The proposed new rule is modelled on Dutch law, namely articles 711 and 728 of the Wetboek van Burgerlijke Rechtsvordering. The government in its proposal explicitly states that the new rule is designed to make Germany more competitive as a place of jurisdiction, in comparison to the Netherlands.

The legislation still needs to be passed, and the precise date of entry into force is not yet known. But it appears to be an uncontroversial piece of legistaltion, and its implemetation quite certain.



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