Failure to notify agency status

A ship manager in South East Asia ordered bunkers to be supplied at Chittagong on behalf of one of its shipowner clients. Unfortunately, the shipowner did not pay the bunker costs of approximately US$ 60,000. The bunker trader then pursued the ship manager directly on the premise that the manager, and not the shipowner,  had contracted with him.  When reviewing the exchange of e-mails between the manager and the bunker supplier, it was obvious that the manager had failed to notify the bunker supplier of the identity of his principal nor had he clearly stated that the invoice should be made out to the owner of the ship care of the manager.  On legal advice that the ship manager's defence was not strong, the Club settled the bunker trader's bill in full.

Ship managers (like any other agent) must ensure that,when ordering goods and services for ships under their management, they make their agency status clear.  The Club has included articles on this subject, available on the ITIC website, in the 2000 and 2001 editions of "The Intermediary".

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