The High Court division has taken a significant step by granting a six-month stay order concerning the necessity of seeking consent from the Bangladesh Ocean Going Ship Owners’ Association (BOGSOA) for the issuance of waiver certificates to foreign-flagged container vessels under the Flag Vessel (Protection) Rule of 2023.
Last week, the Bangladesh Container Shipping Association (BCSA) initiated a writ petition before the High Court division to challenge rule number 4 of the Bangladesh Flag Vessel (Protection) Rules of 2023. This rule specifically required the Department of Shipping to obtain consent from BOGSOA when issuing waiver certificates to foreign-flagged container ships, including those affiliated with BCSA.
Following the petition, the HC division, led by Justice Md Khasruzzaman and Justice Md Khairul Alam, issued the stay order on August 27.
Moreover, the HC Division has issued a Rule Nisi, summoning the nine respondents to provide an explanation as to why Rule 4 of the Bangladesh Flag Vessel (Protection) Rules of 2023 should not be deemed illegal.
Since February of this year, operators of foreign-flagged container vessels have encountered various difficulties, including unusual delays in obtaining waiver certificates.
These certificates are compulsory for foreign ships to load and unload cargoes in Bangladesh, in accordance with the Bangladesh Flag Vessel (Protection of Interest) Act of 2019, which prioritizes locally owned vessels, allocating 50% of sea-borne cargoes to them.