Brexit's Impact Upon Shipping Disputes and Enforcement

Admin | Published on 26 Apr 2021

Brexits Impact upon Shipping Disputes

The end of 2020 saw the end of the Brexit transition period wherein the ties connecting the UK and the Lugano Convention 2007, which deals with jurisdiction issues and judgements’ enforceability between its signatories, were cut. On the 8th of April 2020, an attempt on the part of the UK was made to re-join such convention as an impartial contracting state; however, clarity as to whether the EU has approved has yet to be established. 

UK and Norway Agreement

On the 13th of October 2020, a separate agreement between the UK and Norway was signed to ascertain the continuance of enforcement and recognition of civil judgements between them. National UK law, however, will continue to govern jurisdiction, as presently there is no existent accord with Norway regarding such.  

Shipping disputes pertain to several jurisdictions and due to this, joint acknowledgment and enforcement of judgements is critical – The Lugano Convention 2007 previously ensured this between the UK and other EU member states. Moreover, such disputes are generally regulated through arbitration clauses; therefore, for familiarity reasons, parties may agree to be administered by the laws of England with regards to maritime issues. 

The UK, as well as all the EU member states, and the European Free Trade Association states are signatories to the New York Convention which oversees the application of international arbitration awards. 

In anticipation of the EU’s approval for the UK’s readmission into the Lugano Convention, which will hopefully be encouraged by the recent positive agreement between Norway and the UK, obstacles will surely be faced in the enforcement of court judgments between the two countries. 

The Effects of Brexit

Due attention to such agreement shall be paid especially by commercial parties operating in shipping and overseas sectors to ensure that their contracts will be governed by the most advantageous jurisdiction.  

The effects of Brexit continue to emerge in various sectors of law, especially in the discussed sector, leading to contingent uncertainty. However, a step towards tranquillity should be made upon the hopeful admission of the UK into the Lugano Convention. 

 


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Dr Charlene Mifsud

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