Friday, September 16, 2016
Speaking at a Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia legal forum, Andrew Hudson, a partner at law firm Gadens, said the Hanjin crisis was unique and there is still much confusion as to when and how shippers can get their containers.

"There are court cases here in Australia, there are court cases in the US, there are court cases in the UK, they're all going on at the same time, applying slightly different laws in slightly different circumstances," he said.

"There has been a suggestion that any release of containers is going to be slowed right down because of the proceedings in Korea, and in Australia," he said.

"There are two federal court actions that I am aware of, one's been brought by Glencore on account of the bunker fuel, there's also one on account of DP World. And, once Glencore's been paid, they've still got to pay DP World out."

Mr Hudson said there was potential for other claims, including under the Personal Property Securities Register.

He also urged licensed customs brokers and freight forwarders to be mindful of paying fees for containers that may be stuck in limbo – particularly if these payments were required by Hanjin.

"A lot of brokers and forwarders pay money on account of their clients, running a credit account; don't do that," he said.

"Anything you do that has to do with these containers, anything you do having to do with payment or entering into an arrangement, it should only be done with the client's express consent and ideally the client would be the one paying any security deposits; they should be the ones on the agreements, not you."

Mr Hudson had one last piece of advice for brokers and forwarders: "Clearly, please don't book any more freight on Hanjin."

And, he quipped, contrary to the current rumour, "Hanjin" isn't Korean for "Titanic".

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