In early 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus pandemic coronavirus (also known as COVID-19).
As well as other countries where drastic measures have been already taken by the state authorities Russia is being affected by the virus issue.
Different areas of our everyday lives are concerned including legal and shipping industries.
Thus, officially instructed by the Supreme court of Russia as of 19 of March 2020 and until 10 of April 2020 almost all court proceeding activities are suspended and even court premises are strictly restricted for visiting, all the court hearings are delayed and only the matters of urgency are still subject of courts attention like preliminary provisional remedies, provisional remedies etc.
Port and Sanitary authorities follow the guidelines provided by the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor). The list of countries affected by the coronavirus is orderly updated and requires new measures to obtain free practice of the vessels like compulsory crew screening, testing and disinfection. Different regulations are introduced like specific pre-arrival check of documents, shore leave restrictions, screening and testing crew members, disinfection. Cargo and bunker operations are allowed under specific authorization to be given by the Rospotrebnadzor.
Recently NAVICUS.LAW advised some foreign and Russian supply companies and ship-owners to advise on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, questions specifically related to the breach of contract relationships like supply contracts and transshipment agreements, reviewing of charter parties, force-majeure coronavirus quarantine clause, contractual responsibilities of the parties and its limitation, ship operation delays and demurrage, costs of disinfection as well some issues related to the state and port authorities’ restriction.
Ship arrest is the apart question. From one hand, all courts are closed for receipt of the documents. From other hand, Supreme Court instructed the courts to consider such kind of urgent issues. Ship arrests is well known for its unexpectedness and promptness to be effective. Meanwhile closed court premises prevent from arranging documentary issues effectively whilst certain lawyers are able to file the motions to arrest assets by the electronic way without visiting the court premises.
It seems that the COVID-19 impact is only on its early stage.
NAVICUS.LAW keep monitoring the situation in courts and in ports, extending a helping hand to those who needs it and contribute to the supply chain, contractual crisis management, dispute resolution and insurance in the shipping and international trade commerce.