Conagra International S.A. v. Seamotion Navigation Ltd.

In Arbitration/Jurisdiction Clauses in Maritime Law on (Updated )

In this matter the Defendant shipowner attempted to enforce an arbitration agreement contained in a charter party. The case concerned a shipment of wheat from Canada originally intended for Iraq. The case was unusual in that, because of the embargo on shipments to Iraq, the shipment was resold at sea and redirected to Malta. New bills of lading were issued at the request of the shipper so that the new buyer could obtain title to the shipment. The new bills of lading contained a term that incorporated all provisions of the Charter Party "including arbitration clause". The shipowner relied on the new bills of lading as incorporating the arbitration clause in the Charter Party. The Court, however, held that the new bills of lading were not intended to create a new contractual obligation between the shipper and the shipowner but were merely intended to redirect the shipment and to act as documents of title. The application for a stay was refused.