Turkish trouble

The Turkish office of an international agency group was appointed to handle a ship’s call at their local port. The owner was an existing customer of the group but had not called at that Turkish port before. Turkish regulations prohibit any vessel directly or indirectly related to the Republic of Cyprus from calling at Turkish ports.

In the agent’s-pre arrival messages to both owners and charterers they mentioned that anything linking the vessel to Cyprus could lead to the ship not being allowed to berth.

In spite of the agent’s express warning to their principal a document was sent to the agent showing the address of the Panamanian registered owning company as being c/o a company in Cyprus. The agent failed to notice the address and the documentation was forwarded to the authorities. The vessel was not allowed to berth. The agent’s position was that the owners were warned about the embargo of all things Cypriot, and failed to take the necessary action. The owner claimed the agent should have carefully reviewed the document.

The owner deducted their alleged losses from other sums due to the agency group. Ultimately the owner told the agent that they would accept 50% responsibility. This still left the agency group with a shortfall of US$50,000 which was reimbursed by ITIC.

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