Our law firm assures legal service and assistance to the parties involved in national and international maritime transport. We represent the interests of shipowners, of the merchandise senders or merchandise recipients, and also the interests of the container carriers and the P&I clubs (protection and liability insurance).

We provide consultancy for negotiating and closing sea freight contracts transportation and expedition contracts, and also legal assistance during their development.

The charter is the contract by which the shipowner of a vessel is obliged that in exchange of a money amount (freight), to transport goods or to make his ship, in whole or partially, available for another person to transport merchandise safely, and to maintain the ship waterway for as long as the contract lasts.

Charter contracts are mostly signed, for occasional shipping.

The carriage contract is defined by the United Nations Convention regarding sea transportation, as being “any contract by which the carrier is obliged, for a freight payment, to transport goods at sea from a harbor to another”.

Chartering operates between the charter (owner), who entrusts through contract the usage of the maritime transportation mean to the beneficiary, named charterer. As usual the chartering contract is signed by the carrier on one side and the beneficiary or the traveler on the other side.

The charters engagement consists in putting the ship in good physical condition, at the charterer’s disposal, while the carrier, according to the basics of the carriage contract, has to execute the shipment of the merchandise or of the passenger to destination. From here it results that the charter is responsible for a means obligation, while the carrier has a result obligation.

The shipping contract is defined by the article 2064 from the Civil Code, as being a variety of the fee contract, by which the shipper is obliged to conclude, in his own name and on behalf of the principal a carriage contract, and to meet the accessory operations.

We provide legal assistance and representation in which regards the seizing of the ships or removing them from seizure.

The precautionary seizure of civilian ships requires the immobilization or freezing of the ship in the harbor, being used by the lender as a mean to pressure the debtor in order for him to pay his debts.

The 2’nd article of the 1952 International Convention, on precautionary seizure of ships, defines the seizure as “the immobilization of a ship with the authorization of the competent judicial authority, for guaranteeing maritime claims, but it does not mean seizing a ship for executing a title”.

According to the Civil Procedure Code, for establishing seizure, is necessary the cumulative meeting of a number of conditions such as:

a) the claim to be ascertained in written; without a written document, the creditor has to make a security deposit representing half of the amount claimed in court.

b) the claim has to be demandable.

c) the applicant has to prove that he filed a request for a lawsuit.

An exception to these rules represents the situation where even if the debt had not reached its end, seizure can be established because of the fact that the debtor had decreased by his deeds the assurances he offered to the creditor, or when exists the danger that the debtor evades the prosecution, or to hide or to waste his fortune. In all these circumstances, the seizure will be disposed only after the submission of a bail, whose amount will be decided by the court.

Regarding the trial procedure, the court can pronounce about the emergency request, in the council room, without involving the parties, by concluding that the term is subject to appeal within five days of notification.

If the request is accepted, the bailiff carries out the measure, and the goods will be seized as a safety measure for ensuring the claim. The court can decide the ending of the seizure at the debtor’s request, only when he presented a valid guarantee.

Our law firm provides assistance and legal advice to the parties involved in the maritime transport, regarding the rules on the Danube navigation representing the owners and the river operators, and also representing the goods receivers, in the litigious relations caused by the shipment of the merchandise on the Danube.

The International Convention ratified by Romania, regarding the merchandise shipment contract in internal navigation, is the one from 1952 from Budapest. According to it, the transportation contract means any contract, whatever named, by which a transporter, is obliged, for a freight payment, to carry goods by inland waterways.

The Convention is applicable to any transportation contract, by which the loading harbor or the place where the merchandise is delivered, and the harbor where the merchandise is unloaded or the places of delivery are located in two different states, of which at least one is part of the Convention.

The maritime and fluvial sections of Constanta and Galati Courts, are judging disputes regarding the compensations for the damages suffered by the ships and by the navigation installations, by the loading, unloading and merchandise handling installations, and for any damage caused through other illicit forms of civil maritime activity; disputes regarding the retribution for rescue assistance and its distribution among the rescuers; the complaints against contravention reports regarding ships polluting sea water.

According to Decree no 203 from 1974 regarding the establishment and organizing maritime and river sections, “the jurisdiction of maritime and river sections of the courts and prosecution’s offices are the following:

a) Maritime and river sections from Constanta: Constanta and Tulcea counties, the territorial sea, the Danube until and including the 64’rth marine mile.

b) Maritime and river sections from Galati: the other counties, the Danube from the 64’rth marine mile and upstream until 1075 kilometers.

When on a vessel situated outside Romanian territorial waters are being committed crimes which are the responsibility of maritime and river sections, the responsibility belongs to the Constanta maritime and river sections if the vessel is maritime, and to the maritime and river sections from Galati if the ship is fluvial”.

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