ING Bank N.V. v. Bomin Bunker Oil Corporation No. 19-30418 decided March 24, 2020
Bomin Bunker Oil Corporation asserted an in rem claim for a maritime lien against the Bulk Finland M/V (“the Vessel”), a ship to which it supplied fuel bunkers under a contract with one of the affiliates of O.W. Bunker & Trading A/S. The District Court granted summary judgment, holding that Bomin was not entitled to a maritime lien because it had not supplied the bunkers on the order of someone with authority to procure necessaries on behalf of the Vessel. Under the Commercial Instruments and Maritime Liens Act, a party supplying goods or services can assert a maritime lien if:
(1) the goods or services provided were “necessaries,”
(2) the party “provid[ed] [the] necessaries to a vessel,” and
(3) it did so “on the order of the owner or a person authorized by the owner.”
Here, the parties disputed the third element. Agreeing that Bomin was not acting on the orders of either the Vessel’s owners or their authorized agent when it supplied the fuel, and therefore Bomin did not have a maritime lien, the Fifth Circuit affirmed summary judgment.
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