Havila Voyages launches legal bid to reclaim ship

Havila Voyages has taken legal action in a bid to become the outright owner of the Havila Capella vessel.

The 640-passenger vessel has been docked in Bergen for over two months due to unnamed insurance firms scrapping the vessel’s cover because of the line’s ties with sanctioned Russian firm GTLK Asia.

In April, GTLK was added to the EU’s list of sanctioned companies because of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Under the current terms of the agreement between Havila and GTLK, the line has the option to buy the vessel two years after its delivery, but cannot pay funds to the company due to the sanctions imposed upon it.

The line has worked to find short-term solutions to resolve ongoing insurance issues and get the ship in operation as it explored a change of ownership of the ship.

However, this week Havila filed a case at the High Court of Justice, Business and Property Courts of England and Wales in London to force a change of ownership and expects a decision in “a reasonable” amount of time.

Chief executive Bent Martini said: “We have tried to find a solution with GTLK Asia, but the only solution they have put forward is to pay the amount due.

“It would be illegal for us to pay the amount due to a sanctioned company. We want to settle by paying the amount we owe GTLK Asia to a blocked account. The amount will be paid to GTLK Asia when the sanctions are lifted.”

Martini expressed fears that Havila’s debt could be sold to a third-party, which “will further complicate the situation”.

He added the line is also still working to refinance the whole fleet.

Currently, Havila’s fleet includes two vessels – Havila Castor and Havila Capella – with another two ships slated to come into service.

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