Icelandic line Eimskip is trying to stop what it calls an "illegal" competition investigation.

The boxship owner said it has filed a court action at the district court of Reykjavik that seeks to halt a probe by the Icelandic Competition Authority (ICA) that has been ongoing for nearly a decade.

It argues that the investigation was "formally cancelled" in June 2015.

And the shipowner also claims the probe is based on the illegal seizure of documents and that the ICA has "violated the principle of objectivity."

In addition, the company said the ICA has carried out a criminal probe, which it is not allowed to do under Icelandic law.

"Furthermore Eimskip’s demands are based on the fact that the investigation of the Icelandic Competition Authority is directed towards incorrect legal entities as relates to significant term of the investigation," it added.

"Because of the conduct of the investigation, a majority of the alleged infringements have lapsed."

In 2013, the company said its headquarters and premises occupied by its subsidiaries Eimskip Island and TVG-Zimsen were searched by the ICA.

The investigation was carried out on the basis of a ruling from Reykjavik district court, it added.

The substance of the probe has not been revealed.