In a foreign flag vessel’s auction taking place in Greece creditors’ ranking takes place according to Greek law. However, the flag state law regulates encumbrances, including maritime liens.
In the case under consideration, the vessel was seized at Elefsina port and thereafter was towed to Piraeus port, where she underwent repairs. Repairers announced their claim in the auction invoking maritime lien, as repairs at the last port of call.
However, under Panama law, flag state of the vessel, the last port of call is considered the one where seizure was imposed. In view of the above, the repairers’ claim was not found to enjoy maritime lien.
Supreme Court Judgment no 1421/2019, Presiding: G. Lekkas, Rapporteur Judge: M. Kouvidou, Attorneys at law: G. Foskolos, I. Delikostopoulos, G. Kopakakis, Maritime Law Review vol. 48, p. 29.
NOTE: Elefsina was considered as the last port of call for the purposes of establishing a Panamanian maritime lien, as the test is on the port of seizure and not the port of auction.
The legal column was written by Manolis Eglezos, Attorney at law, Manolis Eglezos & Associates Law Firm, Attorneys at Law and Consultants