Bunker Supply Contracts, Retention of Title Clauses, The Sale Of Goods Act 1979 and One Highly Publicised Insolvency Combine to Give Vessel Owners a Global Headache.
The Supreme Court’s ruling in this already notorious case may have a significant impact on the bunker supply industry and be somewhat unsettling for vessel owners and charterers (as purchasers of bunkers).
Its decision that bunker sale contracts on standard terms are not contracts for the sale of goods under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (“SOGA”) means that an assumption that no-one had questioned prior to the Tribunal’s decision of April 2015 is now turned on its head. Its impact both on the many disputes which have been awaiting this decision and on the future of this industry may take some time to unfurl. We take a look at the decision and give some pointers as to what the future may hold.
The above is an executive summary from the Shipping Group’s client alert ‘Res Cogitans – A Class of Its Own’, dated 12th May 2016. Read the full Alert here.