Over the years some uncertainty has existed in the Netherlands concerning the construction of Article 3.1. and 3.4. of the Arrest Convention 1952, where it is stated:
3(1) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (4) of this Article and of Article 10, a claimant may arrest either the particular ship in respect of which the maritime claim arose, or any other ship which is owned by the person who was, at the time when the maritime claim arose, the owner of the particular ship, even though the ship arrested be ready to sail; but no ship, other than the particular ship in respect of which the claim arose, may be arrested in respect of any of the maritime claims enumerated in Article 1(o), (p) or (q).
3(4) When in the case of a charter by demise of a ship the charterer and not the registered owner is liable in respect of a maritime claim relating to that ship, the claimant may arrest such ship or any other ship in the ownership of the charterer by demise, subject to the provisions of this Convention, but no other ship in the ownership of the registered owner shall be liable to arrest in respect of such maritime claim. The provisions of this paragraph shall apply to any case in which a person other than the registered owner of a ship is liable in respect of a maritime claim relating to that ship.
The uncertainty concerned the following two questions:
1) Does Article 3(1) require a connection to exist between the maritime claim and the arrested ship?
2) What is the scope of application of the second paragraph of Article 3(4), which allows a ship to be arrested for a claim against the debtor that is not the registered owner of the ship?
These two questions have now been answered in a series of cases heard by the Dutch courts in the course of 2010 and 2011. Those cases are discussed in the paper “The Construction in the Netherlands of Article 3(1), (4) of the Arrest Convention 1952”, written by Nigel Margetson and published in the Journal of International Maritime Law 2011, pages 423 through 430. That paper can be downloaded by opening this page and clicking here.