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31 Jan 2024

Commodities in Focus Weekly: The Polar: Herculito Maritime Ltd and others v Gunvor International BV and others

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The Supreme Court handed down its judgment recently in Herculito Maritime Ltd v. Gunvor International BV [2024] UKSC 2 , also known as "The Polar". The decision concerns insurance issues arising out of piracy attacks and will be of particular interest to owners, insurers and cargo interests with vessels trading in and around the Red Sea and Russia/Ukraine.

The Supreme Court found, against cargo interests, that (1) the charterparty did not contain an insurance code or fund; (2) the insurance provisions contained within the charterparty were incorporated into the bills of lading; (3) owners were not precluded by operation of the relevant clauses from claiming losses from the holders of the bills of lading; and (4) the wording of the clauses could not be manipulated such that payment of the additional insurance premia would be re-allocated.

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Rebecca Crookenden

Rebecca Crookenden
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