An Egyptian court rejected, on Sunday, an appeal against the Ever Given container ship’s continued detention in the Suez Canal, according to Reuters and local media.
The appeal was launched by the ship’s Japanese owner, and follows its detention by Egyptian authorities after it had blocked maritime traffic in the important international trade route for six days in March.
The complaint was attached to a case at the Ismailia economic appeals court, in which the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) is seeking $916m in compensation from the Ever Given’s owner, Shoei Kisen. The legal move seeks to gain financial reparations for the blockage and the operation to free the ship.
The court, on Sunday, referred the case back to a court of first instance, which is due to consider the case on 29 May, according to Ahmed Abu Ali, one of the lawyers representing the ship’s owner.
Meanwhile, Shoei Kisen says the SCA was at fault over the ship’s grounding, and disputes the vessel’s detention, a lawyer representing the company said on Saturday. It is also disputing the Egyptian compensation claim.
On 23 March, the massive Ever Given container ship ran aground and became lodged across the Suez Canal, blocking passage through a vital waterway for global trade. The significant blockage caused a backlog of ships waiting to pass through the Suez Canal.
Egypt resumed navigation in the canal several hours after the stranded container ship was rescued, after which many of the 422 ships that have been kept waiting started to cross.
Linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, the Suez Canal is a major lifeline for global seaborne trade, since it allows ships to travel between Europe and South Asia without navigating around Africa.
As a result, it reduces the distance taken through sea voyages between Europe and India by about 7,000 km. Some 12% of the world trade volume passes through the man-made canal.