Danish Shipping Tribunal


In Denmark, a special Shipping Tribunal has been established in accordance with the Danish act on safety at sea.

The Tribunal consists of a chairman and a number of expert members appointed by the Danish Minister of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs. The chairman must be a High Court Judge and the members are nominated by the shipowners and the seafarers organisations.

Decisions made by the Danish Shipping Tribunal must not be appealed to other administrative authorities. No later than four weeks after the Tribunal has made a decision, the case can be brought before the courts by each of the parties. Legal proceedings must be instigated against the authority against whose decision a complaint has been filed with the Tribunal. However, cases concerning medical practitioners' decisions on the suitability to serve on board ships must always be instigated against the Danish Maritime Authority. Legal proceedings raised by the authority against whose decision a complaint has been filed with the Tribunal must be instigated against the party who has complained about the decision. The authority against whose decision a complaint has been filed with the Tribunal must inform others who have been a party to the case before the Tribunal about the legal proceedings.

The Tribunal can consider complaints about different decisions made by the Danish Maritime Authority, including detentions of ships.

The Secretariat for the Tribunal is located at the Danish Appeals Boards Authority, Toldboden 2, DK-8800 Viborg.

Please feel free to contact the Secretariat for further information by telephone (+45 72 40 56 00) or email (anke@naevneneshus.dk).

Particularly the possibility of complaining about decisions concerning detentions of foreign ships in Danish ports might have interest for foreign shipowners and need therefore to be highlighted below.

Information concerning the possibility of raising a complaint must be given to the master of a foreign ship detained in a Danish port by the Danish Port State Control Inspector.

Only the shipowner (company) of the ship concerned can raise a complaint.

The complaint must be given to the Secretariat of the Tribunal before four weeks from the decision of detention is taken.

It is the Tribunal's goal that 80 % of the complaints received are achieved within four months after the complaint has been brought before the Tribunal.

Read the rules of procedure of the Tribunal here.

After having received a complaint, the Secretariat will request the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) to comment on the complaint from the shipowner or shipping company. Normally, the DMA is given a couple of weeks to produce such a paper.

The comments from the DMA will subsequently be forwarded to the shipowner or shipping company and the owner/company will be asked to respond to these.

 After having received the reply from the company, the Secretariat will prepare the case for the Tribunal. The material presented to the Tribunal will consist of a description of the case with the complaint, the comments from the DMA and the respond from the owner/company as annexes.

The owner/company and the DMA will receive the same material as the Tribunal and will be given  couple of weeks to comment on the material.

The Chairman of the Tribunal will call in the Tribunal, which normally in such cases will consist of two representatives appointed by the Danish Shipowners' Association and two representatives appointed by the Danish Maritime Officers Organisation.

The decision of the Tribunal will be given to the owner/company shortly after it has been settled. The decision will be in Danish, but will be translated into English within a couple of weeks.

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