Third Ocean Marine Navigation LLC v. The "GTS Katie"

In Admiralty Practice, In Rem Actions and Arrest on (Updated )

This matter arose out of the much publicized events surrounding the return of Canadian military equipment on board the "GTS Katie" from overseas peacekeeping operations. During the course of that voyage a dispute arose concerning payment of freight and, as a consequence, the "GTS Katie" refused to sail to the delivery port to deliver the military equipment on board. The impasse was resolved when the Canadian military boarded the vessel on the high seas and forced her to sail to port. The owners of the "GTS Katie" commenced this action for payment of freight and obtained a Warrant of Arrest of the freights and sub-freights and served the Warrant on the solicitors acting for the Crown and other Defendants. The Defendants brought the present application to set aside that Warrant of Arrest. The Court set aside the warrant on various grounds. First, the Court held that Crown immunity applied. Secondly, the Court held that although the time charter contained a clause giving the owner a lien on freight and sub-freight the contracts of affreightment contained no such clause. Finally, the Court held that the clause in the bill of lading giving the carrier a lien for any amounts due was a lien on cargo and not on freight.