The RES COGITANS decision is, strictly speaking, not binding on the Hong Kong Courts, but it is likely to have persuasive effect.

The RES COGITANS decision is, strictly speaking, not binding on the Hong Kong Courts, but it is likely to have persuasive effect.

In any event, the decision has not solved the issue of whether shipowners have to pay bunker suppliers.

A claim for unpaid bunkers does not give rise to a maritime lien under Hong Kong law.

It is unlikely that there would be any direct contracts between bunker suppliers and shipowners where OW Bunker was involved in the middle of the sale chain.

Bunker suppliers would therefore face difficulties when pursuing the ships or the shipowners in Hong Kong for the unpaid bunker claims in the OW Bunker matter.

Nevertheless, there have been some court actions commenced by bunker suppliers against ship interests in Hong Kong.

As far as we are aware, these proceedings are at a relatively early stage and the outcomes remain uncertain.

Bunker suppliers may alternatively, look to pursue their claims in other jurisdictions, or file their claims in the liquidation of the relevant OW Bunker entities.

OW Bunker China Ltd is in liquidation in Hong Kong.