Right of retention on abandoned boats, self-protection for nautical companies


In Olbia training event organized by Confindustria Centro Nord Sardegna, together with Cna Gallura and Confartigianato Gallura; in collaboration with Paoletti Law Group

Olbia 24 July 2023. The phenomenon of boats left in a state of neglect (in shipyards or ports) is also widespread among the nautical companies of Gallura. A problem that companies are called to manage independently and that can also lead to holes in the balance sheet. However, there are tools that allow you to overcome the stalemate phase. The most effective and used is the “right of retention”, which consists of an action of self-protection to be initiated before the judicial bodies. On the subject, Confindustria Centro Nord Sardegna, together with Cna Gallura and Confartigianato Gallura; in collaboration with the associated firm Paoletti Law Group of Verona (which has a long experience in the field of maritime law), has recently promoted a training event aimed at operators in the sector.

In the conference room of the DoubleTree hotel in Olbia, lawyers Alberto Bardini and Sabrina Pangrazio took stock of the “right of retention”, illustrating the main solutions to be adopted to unblock situations of abandonment of boats in shipyards or ports, with a property completely disappeared or manifestly insolvent. These are in fact registered movable property, which often occupy precious space for other uses and which often constitute complicated cases to be solved, especially if the boat is from a non-EU country. In the face of liabilities for certain corporate realities caused precisely by situations of this type, there is also the further problem of the liability of the director of the company for lack of credit protection.

The only way to go is to see the ownership of the abandoned property recognized with the assignment of the boat to the shipyard, in order to return from the expenses. In short, it is a matter of obtaining an asset that can then be sold or used to cover the loss occurred over the years for custody in the shipyard or in the port.

Flags of convenience

Complicating the picture, however, is the problem of the “flags of convenience” of certain boats. If the flag is of an EU state, the procedure is clear. If it is other states; the example of a boat flying the British flag but from the crown islands, such as Man or Jersey; A highly qualified legal specialization is required to unravel the issue and allow the judge to apply foreign law, as required by the rules, and resolve the judgment.

The procedures of release or assignment of ownership to the shipyard of abandoned boats are also applied in the Sardinian courts; in particular in that of Tempio Pausania, competent for the north-east of the island, as was recalled during the meeting. It ended with the interventions of the operators of the sector who formulated several questions confirming the topicality of the problem analyzed.

For more information, you may contact:

Alberto Bardini

Sabrina Pangrazio

Blog Source: Right of retention on abandoned boats, the event in Olbia (sardegnareporter.it)

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ABSTRACT : ABANDONED SHIPS – Analisys, “The right to retain”. A comparison of the “modus vivendi” that “the right of retain” adopts in different legal systems and a concrete case.


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