m/v Seabreeze arrest information
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m/v Seabreeze arrest information

Reference is made to the fact of arrest of m/v Seabreeze (IMO 9143312, flag Belize) by the authorities of Ukraine at the port of Yuzhny, Ukraine (Odessa region), on 10 April 2018. The vessel called at port on 04 April for loading of sunflower meal, and was arrested after completion of cargo operations and receipt of port clearance during her departure with cargo on board.

The reason of arrest is the alleged connection of m/v Seabreeze with the sand mining operations in Crimea, performed by MV Pechora (IMO 8714009), that alleged connection is that both vessels are owned by the same company, which is false and absurd.

The owners/managers of both vessels:

m/v Seabreeze, IMO 9143312

Owner: Trans Holdings Overseas S. A., Palm Grove House, P. O. box 438 Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

Ship Manager: Trans-Service Maritime Agency, Office 2, 12/9 1st Tekstilshikov Str. 109390 Moscow, Russian Federation.

m/v Pechora, IMO 8714009

Owner and Ship Manager: Yuzhmorservis Ltd., Suite 3A, room IX, 1st floor, building 1, 23 Novocheremushkinskaya St., Moscow, Russian Federation.

All certificates and every piece of information regarding both vessels were submitted to the court by owners' lawyers, however the authorities, realizing that the arrest is unlawful, are doing all they can to delay court proceedings while taking aggressive measures against the vessel and her crew, including searches on board, conducting questioning of crew members during night time, seizure of ship's certificates etc.

Numerous applications and notes were submitted to the authorities of Ukraine by various governmental bodies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belize, the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize etc. Yet the authorities of Ukraine still have not replied to any note.

Ukraine did not inform the flag state about the arrest of m/v Seabreeze, and did not accept or study the submitted certificates with apostille, thus violating various articles of UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (the Apostille Convention), that Ukraine is a party to, and customary international law.

The absence of any replies to official notes of concerned states in turn illustrates the wavering legal stance of Ukraine as to the legal basis for its actions related to m/v Seabreeze.

As a conclusion, the vessel is staying at port for more than a month now, and the court sessions were postponed by the authorities five times already. The vessel is staying at port with full crew, thus incurring serious expenses of the owners.