Russia Ukraine - Legal problems for Shipping and International Trade

Like many Shipping and Trade lawyers, we have been inundated with new cases since the outbreak of hostilities between Russia and Ukraine.  We have been asked to advise on the various Russian sanctions and their application to shipping/international sale of goods; specific sanction clauses in Charterparties and COAs; and to assist with sale of goods and commodity contracts involving Russian origin or destined cargoes.

We are seeing sudden and often problematic extra-ordinary changes in certain commodity price indexes, freight rates and bunker costs, with associated unexpected profit and loss scenarios for market participants.

On a practical level we are assisting ship owners and their Clubs with Russian origin cargoes on board vessels where freight cannot be routinely paid by banks due to the sanctions, FOB and CFR sellers of Russian origin bulk cargoes where the sale price payment is blocked due to sanctions, including payments by Letters of Credit, and insurers considering war risks and coverage issues.  In addition, some Owner and Charterer clients require assistance renegotiating fixtures, planned routes and load/disport conditions which now involve war zones. 

We expect that the conflict and sanctions will have a far reaching impact upon shipping and international trade generally and will give rise a host of defaulting performers, claims and, inevitably, London arbitrations.    

Above all our thoughts are with those affected by the human suffering caused by the hostilities.

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Commercial Lawyers
Arbitration Specialists

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