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General Provisions

Chapter I
GENERAL PROVISIONS


Article 1.- Scope of regulation
This Ordinance specifies the jurisdiction, order and procedures for the arrest of seagoing ships to secure the settlement of maritime claims, as a provisional urgent measure, to enforce civil judgments or to provide judicial assistance, and the jurisdiction, order and procedures for the release of seagoing ships from arrest.

Article 2:- Subjects of application
This Ordinance applies to Vietnamese and foreign agencies, organizations and individuals involved in the settlement of maritime claims, application of a provisional urgent measure, enforcement of civil judgments or provision of judicial assistance which gives rise to the right to arrest seagoing ships.

Article 3:- Jurisdiction to decide to arrest seagoing ships
1. People’s courts of provinces or centrally run cities (below collectively referred to as provincial-level people’s courts) where exist seaports or inland water way ports (below collectively referred to as ports) at which seagoing ships subject to arrest applications are operating have the jurisdiction to arrest these seagoing ships to secure the settlement of maritime claims, enforcement of civil judgments or exercise of jurisdiction given by foreign courts.
In case a port consists of many berths situated in different provinces or centrally run cities, the provincial-level people’s court of the locality where exists the port at which a seagoing ship subject to an arrest application is operating has the jurisdiction to decide to arrest the ship.
2. People’s courts currently handling civil cases and provincial-level people’s courts in localities where arbitration councils accept to settle disputes have the jurisdiction to decide to arrest seagoing ships as a provisional urgent measure.
3. The president of the Supreme People’s Court shall consider and decide to vest a court with the jurisdiction to decide to arrest seagoing ships in case concerned provincial-level people’s courts cannot reach agreement on such jurisdiction.

Article 4:- Liability for wrongful applications for arrest of seagoing ships
1. Applicants for the arrest of seagoing ships shall be held responsible before law for their applications. In case a wrongful application for the arrest of a seagoing ship causes loss or damage, the applicant shall pay damages.
2. All losses or consequences of an application for the wrongful arrest of a seagoing ship shall be remedied under agreement between the involved parties. In case no agreement can be reached and a dispute arises, the involved parties may bring the case to a court or an arbitration center for handling under law.
3. Courts that issue decisions to arrest seagoing ships for reasons other than those for which the arrest of these seagoing ships is applied for or decisions to arrest seagoing ships other than those the arrest of which is applied for, causing losses or damage, shall pay damages under law.

Article 5:- Financial security for applications for the arrest of seagoing ships
1. An applicant for the arrest of a seagoing ship shall provide a financial security, except the cases specified at Points c and d, Clause 1, Article 44 of this Ordinance, by either or both of the following modes:
a. Furnishing the court of jurisdiction with a property guarantee document of a bank or another credit institution or another individual, agency or organization;
b. Depositing a sum of money, precious metal, gem or negotiable instrument under a decision of the court of jurisdiction on compulsory provision of financial security into a segregated account at a bank in the locality where the court of jurisdiction is located within forty eight hours after the receipt of that decision.
In case financial security for an application for the arrest of a seagoing ship is provided on a weekend or holiday, the security asset shall be temporarily kept at the court. The court shall only receive a sum of money or a negotiable instrument and seal it up for preservation. On the following working day, the applicant for the arrest of a seagoing ship shall promptly deposit that asset into a bank under the court’s supervision.
2. The value of financial security is fixed by the court to be equal to the loss or damage possibly caused by the wrongful application for the arrest of a seagoing ship.
3. Upon deciding to release a seagoing ship from arrest, a judge shall take into account the financial security for the application of the arrest of a seagoing ship specified in Clause 1 of this Article, unless otherwise agreed by the involved parties. Depending on each case, the judge may make one of the following decisions:
a. To keep the financial security for the application of the arrest of a seagoing ship unchanged in case he/she considers the application wrongful and the value of the financial security is possibly adequate or is inadequate for payment of damages;
b. To refund part of the value of the financial security for the application for the arrest of a seagoing ship in case he/she considers the application wrongful and the value of the financial security exceeds the liability to pay damages;
c. To refund the whole financial security for the application for the arrest of a seagoing ship in case he/she considers the application correct.

Article 6:- Fee for the arrest of seagoing ships
1. Applicants for the arrest of seagoing ships shall pay a fee prescribed by law.
2. The fee for the arrest of a seagoing ship to secure the settlement of a maritime claim, as a provisional urgent measure, to enforce a civil judgment or exercise the jurisdiction given by a foreign court shall be paid to the court competent to decide to arrest seagoing ships defined in Article 3 of this Ordinance within forty eight hours after the court demands the fee be paid.

Article 7:- Supervision of the observance of law in the arrest of seagoing ships
People’s Procuracies shall supervise the observance of law in the arrest of seagoing ships; the exercise the rights to protest under law in order to assure the timely and lawful arrest of seagoing ships.

Article 8:- Documents and evidence enclosed with applications for the arrest of seagoing ships or written requests for the release of seagoing ships from arrest
1. Enclosed with applications for the arrest of seagoing ships or written requests for the release of seagoing ships from arrest must be documents and evidence proving that these applications or requests are grounded and lawful.
2. In case documents and evidence enclosed with an application for the arrest of a seagoing ship or requests for the release of a seagoing ship from arrest are in a foreign language, their lawfully notarized Vietnamese translations are required under Vietnamese law. Documents and papers which are compiled, issued or certified by competent foreign authorities under foreign laws must be legalized by consular offices, unless that consular legalization is exempt under the provisions of a treaty to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party.

Article 9:- Execution of decisions to arrest seagoing ships or decisions to release seagoing ships from arrest
1. Immediately after issuing a decision to arrest a seagoing ship or a decision to release a seagoing ship from arrest, the court president shall assign a court officer to serve that decision under Clause 2 of this Article.
2. Within twelve hours after being assigned, the court officer shall arrive at the port to hand two copies of the decision to the director of the seaport authority or the inland waterway port (below referred to as the port authority director) where the seagoing ship in question is operating. The port authority director shall execute the decision to arrest a seagoing ship or the decision to release a seagoing ship from arrest under law and hand one copy thereof to the shipmaster for compliance.
If the court officer cannot arrive at the port within the above time limit, the decision may be sent by fax or email under law.
3. State management agencies in charge of maritime, security, quarantine, customs, tax, culture and information, fire and explosion prevention and fighting, environmental protection and other state management agencies shall coordinate with one another in executing decisions to arrest seagoing ships at the request of the port authority director and submit to the administration by the port authority director in the coordinated execution of these decisions.
The Vietnam Coast Guard shall coordinate with above agencies in executing decisions to arrest seagoing ships at the request of port authority directors.
4. Owners, charterers or operators of seagoing ships under arrest shall maintain the operation of these seagoing ships.
5. The Government shall specify the execution of court decisions mentioned in Clause 2 of this Article and the handling of seagoing ships which are abandoned by their owners, or the public auction of seagoing ships under arrest.

Article 10:- Notification of the execution of decisions to arrest seagoing ships or decisions to release seagoing ships under arrest
1. Port authority directors shall notify in writing courts, the Vietnam Maritime Administration and concerned state management agencies at their ports of the execution of decisions to arrest seagoing ships or decisions to release seagoing ships under arrest. In case of arresting seagoing ships for the enforcement of civil judgments, they shall promptly notify such to civil judgment enforcement bodies so that the latter can enforce civil judgments.
2. Shipmasters shall notify ship owners, charterers and operators and parties with related interests of the arrest of their seagoing ships or the release of their seagoing ships from arrest.