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Ilyashev & Partners Assist Global Agricultural Trader to Release the Cargo from Ukrainian Port

News date: 24 October 2022

A team of maritime lawyers from Odesa Office of Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm, assisted one of the world’s largest traders in agricultural products to resolve a dispute with a shipowner and bring out export cargo from a Ukrainian port within the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

This case was characterized by the fact that the loading operations on the vessel were fully finished before the start of the full-scale armed aggression of the Russian Federation on 24 February 2022. The vessel’s chief officer signed the cargo primary documents (mate’s receipts), but in view of the outbreak of hostilities, the master did not issue the necessary set of the shipping documents (bills of lading) certifying the acceptance of the cargo for sea carriage and containing the obligation to deliver the cargo to the final point of destination and hand it over to the consignee.

Later it became impossible to leave the port due to the closure of navigation due to safety reasons, and the shipowner personally ignored the requests of cargo owners/shippers to issue bills of lading. The shipowner also showed no reaction even after the start of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

After the involvement of maritime lawyers from Odesa Office of Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm, the process was driven from the dead-lock and the conflict was settled in out-of-court procedure.

The lawyers conducted a number of active and competent legal actions, which made the shipowner react without further delay. After lodging the attorney’s requests to the port authorities and organizations, the lawyers started the negotiations with the shipowner and its representatives. As a result, the lawyers, together with the cargo owner, managed to promptly convince the shipowner issuing the set of bills of lading required and ensure the seaworthiness of the vessel. Finally, the ship sailed from the Ukrainian port within the Black Sea Grain Initiative without any further delay.