The US Ninth Circuit rightly confirms that the only person who can sue in rem for the price of bunkers supplied is the person who contracted with the operator of the vessel. It’s not enough that you physically pumped the bunkers aboard on the orders of another supplier who contracted to supply them to the ship and then agreed to buy them from you and pay you for them. Quite right too. Those who give credit to the uncreditworthy (in this case — you guessed — OW Bunkers) must be allowed to lose out: that’s business, sonny.
See Bunker Holdings v Yang Ming Liberia, No. 16-35539 (9th Cir., October 11, 2018). And thanks to the Maritime Advocate for the heads-up.
Professor Andrew Tettenborn
Professor Andrew Tettenborn joined Swansea Law School and the Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law in 2010 having previously taught at the universities of Exeter (Bracton Professor of Law 1996-2010), Nottingham and Cambridge. Professor Tettenborn is a well-known scholar both in common law and continental jurisdictions. He has held visiting positions at Melbourne University, the University of Connecticut and at Case Law School, Cheveland, Ohio. He is author and co-author of books on torts, damages and maritime law, and of numerous articles and chapters on aspects of common law, commercial law and restitution.
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