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COMMODITIES IN FOCUS

12

Case digest

Grand China Logistics Holding (Group) v

Spar Shipping AS [2016] EWCA Civ 982

When charterers, Grand China, fell into arrears in

paying hire on three long-term NYPE charterparties,

owners, Spar Shipping, withdrew the vessels and

terminated the charterparties. The Commercial Court

in The ASTRA ([2013] EWHC 865) had previously held

that punctual payment of hire under a time charter was

a condition. The Court of Appeal in Spar Shipping held

that The Astra was wrongly decided and that punctual

payment of hire was not a condition. However,

charterers had renounced the charterparties and

owners were able to terminate the charterparties under

the contractual withdrawal clause.

Vinnlustodin HF and another v Sea Tank

Shipping AS [2016] EWHC 2514

A bulk cargo of fish oil carried on board the tanker

"AQASIA" was damaged when it was co-mingled with

other fish oil. The carrier conceded liability but claimed

limitation of liability under Article IV Rule 5 of the

Hague Rules. The judge held that where the Hague

Rules apply to the carriage of a bulk cargo, it is not

possible for carriers to limit their liability under Art IV,

Rule 5. Note that, where the Hague-Visby Rules apply

to the carriage of a bulk cargo, such limitation is

possible.

Dexia Crediop v Provincia di Brescia [2016]

EWHC 3261

Dexia entered into a number of different credit

agreements with Brescia that included (1) a mandate

agreement which was subject to Italian jurisdiction,

and (2) a 1992 ISDA Master Agreement which was

subject to English law and jurisdiction. Both parties

brought claims against the other, Brescia in Italy for

breach of the mandate and Dexia in England for

declaratory relief in relation to interest rate swaps

which were subject to the Master Agreement.

The judge held that the declarations sought by Dexia

related to issues stemming from the Master

Agreement, which was subject to English jurisdiction.

"Cause of action" in the Brussels Recast Regulation was

construed narrowly, the Italian and English proceedings

did not have the same "objet" and "cause" and so the

English proceedings did not have to be stayed.

Euro-Asian Oil SA (formerly Euro-Asian Oil

AG) v Abilo (UK) Ltd and another [2016]

EWHC 3340

Euro-Asian Oil SA, represented by Stephenson

Harwood, successfully brought a claim against Abilo

(UK) Limited and Credit Suisse AG for non-delivery of

20,000 metric tonnes of ultra-sulphur diesel (ULSD),

with a purchase price of nearly US$ 16,000,000. Abilo

was to supply ULSD to Euro-Asian and Credit Suisse

co-signed letters of indemnity which were presented to

Euro-Asian's bank under the letters of credit, in lieu of

bills of lading.

When the cargo was not delivered, Euro-Asian claimed

in contract, tort and unjust enrichment against Abilo

under the sale contract and the letter of indemnity. It

also claimed against Credit Suisse for breach of

warranties under the letter of indemnity. Both Abilo

and Credit Suisse were found liable. Credit Suisse had

gone beyond the role of a letter of credit bank: in co-

signing the letters of indemnity, it had assumed the

same contractual responsibilities as Abilo in relation to

the underlying contract of sale and exposed itself to

liability in the event that Abilo did not make the

delivery.