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Egypt seizes Ever Given, demands compensation after Suez Canal blockage

Egypt seizes Ever Given, demands compensation after Suez Canal blockage
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Egyptian authorities have seized the Ever Given cargo ship that was lodged in the Suez Canal for several days last month, ordering the ship's owner to pay $900 million in compensation.

CNN reports that Egyptian authorities have ordered the Ever Given's owner, Japanese chartering company Shoei Kisen Kaisha, to foot the hefty bill for losses inflicted by the traffic stop the ship caused. The bill also includes maintenance fees and rescue operation costs, according to Egypt's state-run news agency Al Ahram.

Shoei Kisen Kaisha responded by saying insurance companies and lawyers were handling compensation complaints and declined to provide further comment, CNN reports.

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The Ever Given was successfully refloated on March 29 after nearly a week of being stuck. The ship had prevented over 450 other vessels from passing through the canal. The Suez Canal fully reopened on April 3.

Shortly after the ship was freed, head of Suez Canal Authority Lt. Gen. Ossama Rabei reportedly said Egypt could seek up to $1 billion in compensation to cover lost transit fees as well as the cost of the tugboats used to dislodge the boat.

“This is the right of the country," Rabei reportedly said at the time. "It should get its due."

CNN reports that UK Club, one of the ship's insurers, questioned the basis of Egypt's claim.

"Despite the magnitude of the claim which was largely unsupported, the owners and their insurers have been negotiating in good faith with the SCA. On 12 April, a carefully considered and generous offer was made to the SCA to settle their claim,"  UK Club said in response to the claim from the Suez Canal Authority (SCA).

The technical managers of the Ever Given, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), said the ship had been set to sail to Port Said on the Mediterranean Sea before being detained according to CNN.

"The SCA's decision to arrest the vessel is extremely disappointing," BSM CEO Ian Beveridge said, according to CNN. "From the outset, BSM and the crew on board have cooperated fully with all authorities, including the SCA and their respective investigations into the grounding... BSM's primary goal is a swift resolution to this matter that will allow the vessel and crew to depart the Suez Canal."