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Norwegian shipping company Havila Kystruten has announced that its hybrid-powered cruise vessel, Havila Capella, has been temporarily put out of service as a result of its insurance being affected by sanctions against Russia.
Havila Capella was financed through a Hong Kong’s leasing company that is owned by the Russian financing firm GTLK, which in turn is owned by the Russian Ministry of Transport.
Until 22 February 2022, GTLK was considered a ‘reputable’ financing company, with global operations.
When Havila Kystruten took delivery of Havila Capella from Tersan shipyard, the formal owner in Hong Kong had become a GTLK-owned company.
Havila Kystruten stated that Havila Capella operates as a Norwegian vessel that is subject to accounting and taxes.
This vessel is registered with the Norwegian Ordinary Ship Register, with the Hong Kong company serving as the formal owner after a ‘dispensation’ from the Norwegian authorities as per the European country’s law.
Havila Kystruten added that the financing and the formal registration does not alter that it manages and operates the vessel just as if the financing was a regular bank loan.
The firm’s press release issued on Euronext stated that it has a “right of purchase and a purchase obligation for Havila Capella in accordance with the desire for long-term control of the ship.”
The company also stated that it has rights, obligations, and responsibility to operate the vessel and has insured it as per the law.
Havila Kystruten’s liability will also be covered by insurance under the international conventions to which Norway agreed.
The company further stated that it is working along with all channels to find a short-term solution to get Havila Capella back into operation.
Havila Kystruten added: “In the company’s assessment, a short-term solution requires the participation of the Norwegian authorities in relation to sanctions against Russia.
“The company hopes that a temporary solution exists, and that it can be active until a permanent solution is possible. Havila Kystruten’s goal is of course to become the formal owner of Havila Capella. In parallel with a solution to get Havila Capella up and running, work is underway to refinance the company’s four ships.”