Enforcement of Charter Party Cargo Lien

Friday, January 21, 2005
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a ship owner must perfect a cargo lien arising under a charter party before the cargo owner pays its freight. In the instant case, the cargo owner contracted with a middleman for the transport of various shipping containers. The middleman chartered a ship owned by defendant. The cargo owner paid the middleman, who neglected to pay the ship owner. The ship owner asserted a lien on the cargo. The court held that, in order to enforce a lien on cargo carried under a charter, the ship owner must perfect the lien by providing actual notice to the cargo owner before the cargo owner has paid under its bill of lading. Lykes Lines Limited v. M/V BBC SEALAND, No. 04-20057 (5th Cir.) (HK Law)

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