Our previous client alert on this issue, "Are you presented at the loading port in readiness to load? Clarification of buyer's obligation under FOB contracts" (Alert 09-271) provided an update on a High Court ruling, which determined that, under GAFTA FOB contracts, a buyer will have fulfilled his FOB obligations regarding the presentation of a vessel within the delivery period, simply by presenting that vessel, provided that the vessel is physically and legally capable of loading the intended cargo, even if it is not capable of tendering a valid Notice of Readiness ("NOR"), for example due to lack of hold cleanliness.
The High Court decision in favour of the buyers was appealed to the Court of Appeal (Soufflet Negoce S.A. v. Bunge S.A.  EWCA Civ 102) and the judgment was handed down on Wednesday 13 October 2010. Bunge as buyers were again successful.
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