This article compares and analyses maritime liens in Omani and English law. The maritime lien is a unique security existing only on the ship and the freight. It entitles the claimant to a privileged right in a ship. The most important characteristic about the maritime lien is that it comes into existence automatically, without any cause if an action being taken by the claimant such as registration, and, in principle, follows the ship wherever she sails in the world.

Maritime liens secure claims for salvage, seamen's wages, master's wages and disbursements and damage done by ships in both Omani and English law. In Omani law, but not in English law, maritime liens secure also claims in respect of pilotage, pollution, personal injury, towage and cargo. In neither system is personal liability an invariable prerequisite for such liens. As a general rule, maritime liens cannot be transferred in either system. While in English law maritime liens are accorded a high priority by precedent, maritime liens are ranked according to statute in Omani law. Maritime liens may variously be extinguished in both systems.

A maritime lien is a concept of international familiarity and is recognized in most jurisdictions. There exist nonetheless frequent differences between individual countries as for example to the range of claims recognized as maritime liens or to their ranking. It is this international disparity in the recognition of maritime liens which was one of the issues which the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law Relating to Maritime Mortgages and Liens 1926 attempted to resolve