Pursuant to Brazilian law, assuming there is Brazilian jurisdiction, it is possible for the physical supplier to arrest a vessel for a bunker supply debt, even though he does not have a direct contract with owners, on the grounds that this is a maritime lien (also called privileged credit in Brazil). We have been involved in several such arrest proceedings.

Under Brazilian law, if there is a claim by both the contractual supplier and the physical supplier against the Owners, the latter would have the option to make a deposit in Court (Article 335 of the Civil Code) and let the Judge decide who is the party entitled to receive payment (a form of interplead). In any event, it is unlikely that a Brazilian Court would request the Owners to pay twice. Considering the lack of a precedent system and the different levels of experience of the judges in Brazil, it is however uncertain how a judge would order the distribution.

OW Bunker - A Global Overview - Brazil

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