A bunker based barney
A shipbroker advised ITIC that they were owed US$ 68,000 of commission from a sale and purchase of a ship.
They had acted as the buyer’s broker and had signed a commission agreement with the seller’s broker where the seller’s broker agreed to pay US$ 68,000 to the shipbroker upon the completion of successful delivery and receipt of the purchase monies for the subject ship.
A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed between the seller and the buyer. A few weeks later, the sale was completed upon the successful delivery and the receipt of the purchase monies by the seller. However, the seller’s broker did not pay the shipbroker’s commission arguing that a dispute had arisen between the seller and buyer relating to bunkers and they had also not received their commission from the seller.
ITIC contacted the seller advising that the deal had successfully concluded and therefore commission must be settled without further delay. They argued that they were not happy with the shipbroker’s performance and that they would not pay any commission until the dispute over bunkers was resolved.
ITIC made it very clear that the dispute arose after the successful completion of the sale and purchase transaction, and that the seller had received the full payment for the ship from the buyer. Therefore it had nothing to do with the sale contract itself. Further, ITIC explained that the shipbroker, as buyer’s broker had no duties and/or liabilities to the seller since they only acted for the buyer. Therefore, the argument that the seller was not happy with the shipbroker’s performance was without merit.
The seller was advised that if the commission was not settled immediately ITIC would take whatever legal steps necessary to assist the shipbroker including, but not limited to, commencing legal proceedings.
Shortly thereafter ITIC received the seller’s agreement to pay the shipbroker’s commission less US$ 1,000 in respect of legal fees they had incurred. The shipbroker agreed to the deduction and were paid US$ 67,000 the next day.