French courts did not consider the consequences of the OW Bunker
collapse from the angle of substantive law, i.e. the contract of
sale/supply of the bunkers. However, French courts did consider the
issue from the angle of ship arrest by the actual bunker suppliers
for the purpose of obtaining security.
In the latest decision dated 15 September 2015, the Court of
Appeal of Pau refused the right of the physical bunker supplier to
arrest the vessel on the basis that the claim of the bunker
supplier could not succeed against a party (in this case, the
shipowner) who was not the supplier's direct debtor under the
contract of supply (here, OW Bunker).
This might suggest that shipowners might benefit from a higher
degree of protection of their interests in France but it is still
too early to be affirmative on the issue.
Although lower courts have previously allowed a physical bunker
supplier to arrest a ship, there is an insufficient number of
precedents to be able to confirm that a particular view on ship
arrests has crystallised in any one area.
A much-anticipated judgment of the Court of Appeal has been handed down this morning that addresses the important issue of whether a charterer's failure to pay hire amounts to a breach of a condition...
A recent decision provides authority for the broadly accepted understanding that a "unit", for the purposes of limitation under Article IV Rule 5 of the Hague Rules, cannot apply to a bulk cargo – it can only mean a physical unit for shipment and not a unit of measurement or a customary freight unit (the unit of measurement used to calculate freight).
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It is common practice for traders, usually when they are the sellers of the goods and the charterers of a vessel, to instruct the carrier to discharge cargoes without production of the original bills of lading and to agree to indemnify the carrier against the consequences of doing so.
We have received reports that the " STAR ZETA ", a 2003 built bulk carrier flying the Marshall Islands flag, has grounded in the river Parana and is blocking the channel.
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