Court of Appeal confirms ship-owners’ rights to intercept freight

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In Ince & Co’s October 2012 Shipping E-brief, the firm reported on the Commercial Court decision in The Bulk Chile, which held that a ship-owner is entitled to redirect the payment of freight due under bills of lading and separately rely on a charterparty lien on sub-freights. The Court of Appeal has now upheld that decision. The prevailing view remains that a lien on sub-freights is a form of security in the form of a charge that in certain jurisdictions may need to be registered to be effective where the time charterer becomes insolvent. It should be noted that such charges are registrable in the UK and that the rules governing the registration of charges changed on 6 April 2013.

The vessel owned by DBHH was time chartered to KLC and sub-time-chartered to Fayette. Both time charters were on NYPE terms, clause 18 of which provided that “Owners shall have a lien upon all cargoes and all sub-freights for any amounts due under this charter… .” Fayette voyage chartered the vessel to Metinvest. KLC failed to pay hire so DBHH sent a notice to Fayette and to Metinvest requiring them to pay direct to DBHH freight or hire due under “charters, bills of lading, or other contracts of carriage”…

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