Order TMA/201/2022 of 14 March: New Procedure for the Settlement of Disputes in Favour of Air Transport Users

On 17 March 2022, the Official Spanish Gazette (BOE) published the order TMA/201/2022, of 14 March, which regulates the procedure for alternative dispute resolution for air transport users on the rights recognised in the European Union in terms of compensation and assistance in the event of denied boarding, cancellation, or long delay, as well as in relation to the rights of persons with disabilities or reduced mobility, approved by the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda.

The entry into force took place the day after its publication, affecting those incidents occurring after the first day of the month following the publication of the resolution of the competent authority in the Official Spanish Gazette, accrediting the State Aviation Safety Agency (hereinafter also the Agency) as an alternative dispute resolution entity in the field of air transport user protection.

The Order shall apply to the procedure which the Agency provides for air transport users (whether they are consumers or not) to resolve disputes over the application of the following regulations:

– Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to air passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91; and

– Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air.

This rule in no way precludes the exercise of the passenger’s right to resort to any out-of-court dispute resolution system accepted by the airline or airport operator.

The procedure shall be free of charge, without prejudice to the assumption of the costs of the tests by the party proposing them. For passengers, voluntary acceptance and non-binding outcome; for airlines, mandatory acceptance and binding outcome; for pre-acceding airport operators, mandatory acceptance and non-binding outcome; and for all other operators, voluntary acceptance and non-binding outcome.

Finally, it should be noted that the Agency’s decision, which will always be reasoned, as mentioned above, will be binding on the airline but not on the passenger, who may bring any civil action he or she may have against the airline.

El Canal Marítimo y Logístico Highlights the Trajectory of AIYON Abogados since its Foundation

The journal El Canal Marítimo y Logístico analyses and highlights the trajectory of our firm since its foundation in 2015 and catalogues it as a model of success that continues to develop and grow.

The article confirms that, since the firm was founded more than six years ago, AIYON Abogados has formed a multidisciplinary, solid, and participative team of professionals, with marked quality standards in its services, and always respecting its concept of “boutique law firm” firmly connected with its clients and the sector.

From its basic nature with regard to maritime law, our firm aims to further reinforce the relationship with our international clients (maritime insurers, shipping companies and freight forwarders) on the basis of specialised training. This is one of the areas in which    we are involved as part of our activity, collaborating as regular lecturers in the Master of the Spanish Maritime Institute (Madrid), giving training talks at the University of Cadiz, maintaining collaborations with the universities of Deusto and La Laguna, as well as acting as members of the Court of Arbitration of the Madrid Bar Association. This is a commitment to the new generations, but also to clients, who expect andobtain personalised professional advice.

Likewise, the publication makes special mention of the website on the lifting of the ship arrest that the firm launched in 2021, which can be consulted at: shiparrestrelease.com.

On the other hand, the AIYON team informs that we continue to be clearly committed to handling matters related to land transport, especially in the area of national and international road transport, and the world of insurance and trade, where we have great professionals advising our clients on a daily basis and accompanying them on theirprofessional journey.

Finally, our firm’s clear vocation to deepen its knowledge of Air Law – air chartering, incidents, claims or purchase and sale of aircraft, among others – and Space Law is reflected in the “Postgraduate Specialist Course in Aeronautical and Space Law”, taught by the Faculty of Law (ICADE) in collaboration with the Spanish Association of Aeronauticaland Space Law (AEDAE).

You can read the article at the following link: https://www.diarioelcanal.com/aiyon-abogados-socio-fiable-prioriza-relacion-estrecha-cliente/

Ship arrest

By Irantzu Sedano and Zuberoa Elorriaga

The usual short stay of ships in the ports where they load and unload goods, as well as the international nature of the maritime sector, means that, on many occasions, it is very difficult to recover a debt from shipowners and charterers. It is in this context that the concept of ship arrest emerges.

Ship arrest is a legal tool that enables the creditor of a claim, which must be defined as a “maritime claim” to secure the detention of the ship concerned in order to guarantee its payment. This precautionary, preventive, and urgent legal action can also be regarded as a burdensome measure due to the economic damage it can cause to the operator of the vessel, as it can lead to delays in the vessel’s navigation plans, unforeseen costs due to its stay at berth in port, etc. It can also be a costly measure for the person requesting the arrest if it is wrongly or improperly proposed.

Reasons for the arrest
The arrest of ships pursues different objectives, which vary depending on the asserted maritime claim. That is to say, when the maritime claim consists of a monetary claim, the arrest will operate so that the shipowner/charterer (debtor) provides sufficient security to lift the ship arrest, with the attaching creditor obtaining security. When the maritime claim consists of a claim to the ownership of the vessel, the arrest will ensure the application of an eventual sentence to hand over the vessel.

The detention of the vessel may be replaced by the provision of a guarantee or substitute security by the shipowner/charterer before the court applying the measure, since the ultimate objective of the arrest is to guarantee the effectiveness of a later judgement on the merits of the claim / “maritime claim”, ensuring thus the possibility of its enforcement for the creditor/attaching creditor’s.

In the event that the arrest is requested unjustifiably or improperly, the shipowner/charterer of the vessel is entitled to claim for any damages resulting from the arrest.

Requirements for the ship arrest
The international legal regime in force in Spain is the International Convention on Arrest of Ships (Geneva 1999), which entered into force on 14 September 2011. At the national level, we must resort to the Maritime Navigation Act 14/2014, of 24 July.

The requirements are as follows:

  • The allegation of a “maritime claim”: ships may only be arrested on the basis of maritime claims and not on the basis of any other claim. The list of so-called “maritime claims” is numerus clausus and is set out in Article 1(1) of the 1999 Geneva Convention. The creditor of the precautionary measure, requesting the arrest, shall be exonerated from proving his claim, being sufficient for him to allege its existence and the cause for it.
  • The arrest of the “offending ship”: arrest of the vessel causing the claim is permitted provided that the person who was the owner/bareboat lessor of the ship at the time the claim arose is still the owner/bareboat lessor at the time the arrest is requested. Under certain conditions it also provides for the possibility of arresting other vessels owned by the person liable for payment of the claim (“sister ships”).
  • The existence of periculum in mora: this refers to the risk that the ship, in principle the only property of the debtor known to the creditor, may at any time leave the port leaving the creditor without guarantees.
  • The obligation to deposit a guaranteed by the attaching creditor: its purpose is to ensure that, in the event that the arrest is requested improperly and without complying with the legal requirement, the damages generated to the shipowner/charterer as a result of the incorrect arrest can be economically alleviated.
  • The pendency of the proceedings: the arrest may be requested before, during or after the commencement of the legal proceedings on the merits. The lawsuit will be brought before the court that is to hear the merits of the dispute.

Release of the arrest and the protective measure
In order to confirm ship’s release from the arrest, the arrested party (shipowner) must lodge a replacement security or guarantee before the court covering the amount claimed by its creditor (arresting party), provided that such amount does not exceed the value of the arrested vessel. If it does, the vessel will continue its voyage, leaving deposited this amount as a security for the alleged maritime claim.

Since, as a general rule, the request for arrest is placed as a precautionary measure prior to the filing of the lawsuit, it will remain without effect if the creditor/attaching creditor does not initiate the proceedings on the merits of the dispute before the competent court and within the time limit established by the court executing the precautionary measure. In such a situation, the arresting party shall be ordered to pay damages that will be considered by the court, and the security deposited by the arresting party before the court shall be forfeited.

In summary, Article 1 of the International Convention on the Arrest of Ships lists what are considered “maritime claims” that can justify the arrest of a ship, so there are many agents in the sector that may be protected by this tool to guarantee their claims (seafarers, ship suppliers, shipyards, administration, etc.).

AIYON Abogados handles arrests of ships requested by any kind of creditors, as well as lifting of the arrests of shipowners/charterers affected by this measure; moreover, for all those who want to find out more in detail about this concept we have the following platform: www.shiparrestrelease.com

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Submission clauses in maritime transport of goods

The section 9 of the High Court of Valencia has had the opportunity of examining the validity of the clauses inserted in the Maritime Transport of Goods contracts since the Maritime Navigation Law came into force. (Law 14/2014, dated July 24th). We here refer to decrees n. 1243/2016 and n. 1244/2016, both from July 27th 2016, and to the decree n. 1620/2016 dated November 8th, 2016, of the afore mentioned Court.
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Recreational Crafts, relevant judgment of the Spanish Supreme Court

aiyon-abogados-bergein

Following a request from Clients, we hereby summarize the issues that we consider most relevant of the judgment issued by the Spanish Supreme Court num. 241/2015 dated 6th May and that affect recreational crafts.
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The judicial taxes established by Law 10/2012, of 20th November, have been declared unconstitutional

By judgment dated 21st July 2016, the Spanish Constitutional Court has declared null and void the judicial taxes regulated by Law 10/2012 of 20th November. The Court considers that whilst judicial taxes are not necessarily unconstitutional, those established by Law 10/2012 are disproportionate and thus breach the right to a due process. Read more

The limit to bring claims under Article 7 of (EC) Regulation 261/2004

Actions to claim in Spain for compensation under Article 7 of Regulation (EC) 261/2005 have a five-year time-bar unless regional law applies.

As a result of a recent inquiry, AIYON ABOGADOS would like to remind its clients and friends that contractual claims for compensation against the air carrier under article 7 of Regulation (EC) 261/2004, resulting from cancellation, denied boarding or long delay of flights, fall outside de scope of the Montreal Convention. According to a judgment of the European Union Court of Justice dated 22 November 2012 in the case C-139/11, the time-limits for bringing actions for such compensation are determined in accordance with the rules of each Member State on the limitation of actions. This decision was the result of a request for a preliminary ruling under Article 267 TFEU from the Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona (Spain) dated 14 February 2011 in the proceedings “Joan Cuadrench Moré v Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij NV”. Read more

The European Court of Human Rights finds once again against Spain for breach of a fair trail

On the 29th of March of 2016 the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued a judgment against Spain in the case “Gómez Olmeda” ordering the payment of damages in the amount of EUR 6,400 (plus costs) for breach of a fair trial in violation of article 6.1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Read more

Aiyon Abogados assisted Russian shipowners on the purchase of a  bulk carrier at the public auction organized by a Port Authority in Spain.

Aiyon Abogados assisted Russian shipowners on the purchase of a  bulk carrier at the public auction organized by a Port Authority in Spain. The ship had been arrested by several creditors and the sale was carried out by the Port Authority by delegation of the relevant Court.

Aiyon assisted a Russian shipowner interested in the ship to prepare their bid, ensuring that they complied with all the special requirements demanded to foreign bidders. Read more