A French container shipping company is suing the UK over the size of its container ship, accusing the country of breaching international law by denying the company access to a UK port.
The British government had refused to allow the container ship to dock at a UK ports until it had been cleared by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
The MCA says it does not have the authority to deny a container ship entry, and the British government has not yet responded to the claim.
The container ship is called the “Tropical Wonder”, and it is operated by French cargo shipping company Seaview, which was founded in France by Philippe Petit.
The container ship has a capacity of 7,000 containers.
It is a massive container ship that has a crew of 300, and was designed to carry about 8,000 tonnes of goods.
The French Maritime and Border Agency (BMA) said on its website it was a “small but important step in the implementation of EU laws” that allowed for the entry of a container vessel.
The company said it had requested permission to dock in a port near Liverpool, England, where it has been allowed to dock.
The MCA said that if the company applied for permission to enter the port, the company would need to provide documentation that it would be able to do so.
In its letter, the MCA argued that the company was not permitted to dock there.
“The container has no berth, it is not permitted in the port,” the MAC said.
“It is also not permitted under the terms of the UK ports permit, which states that ‘a container vessel may not be placed in port in England and Wales for the purpose of carrying goods’.”
The MAC added that the MCO was unable to provide a “clear explanation” as to why the MCo had not granted permission to the company to dock on the Mainsway in Liverpool.
The letter from the MOC also alleged that the UK government “failed to comply with the MMA’s requirements in relation to the granting of permission for the company and its officers to dock.”
The MCO said that the container ships had been allowed “to dock” at the Mancunian Shipyard in Southampton, England.
The Mancourt had been awarded the contract in September.
In a statement to Al Jazeera, Seavew said it “is delighted to see that the British Government has accepted that the decision was the correct one and is working to ensure that the vessel can dock in the UK for the future”.
“We believe the MMCA has a duty to respect the rights of container ship operators in the future,” the company added.
In December, the container shipping giant said it was “extremely disappointed” by the decision.
“It’s unfortunate that this dispute was not resolved sooner,” the group said in a statement.
“We’re still working on getting this resolved, and will continue to do everything in our power to secure a resolution.”
The British Ministry of Defence said that it had “no knowledge” of the dispute.
“There are a number of issues that the MoD is dealing with with,” a spokesperson told Al Jazeera.
“The UK government has taken an important step forward in implementing EU law, and we have asked the MoDI to ensure a smooth transition for our customers.”
In a letter sent to Seaviview, the UK Maritime Office (MMO) said the MocA’s decision was “without merit”.
“The Moca has determined that the proposed dock at Liverpool, where the M1/M1A container ships have been located since 2014, does not meet the standards required by the MSA and therefore we do not have permission to grant it the MMO permission to use the port.
The MoD’s decision to grant permission to operate the dock at the port is without merit,” the letter said.
The MoD said that, while it was unable “to comment further”, it was in contact with the container company.