Haikou Maritime Court settles dispute over contract of $38.8m

(english.court.gov.cn)Updated : 2019-10-14

On Oct 8, the Haikou Maritime Court successfully settled a dispute over a loan contract worth up to 275 million yuan ($38.8 million) between the French banking giant BNP PARIBAS and Brightoil Gem, a Hong Kong-based shipping company, through mediation.

The lawsuit was brought by BNP PARIBAS which voluntarily selected the Haikou Maritime Court based on trust.

On Jan 4, 2019, as a result of Brightoil Gem’s failure to pay its mature debts to BNP PARIBAS, the latter applied to the Haikou Maritime Court for the detainment of one of the oil tankers owned by the former, and then requested the auction of the tanker.

Weighing over 300,000 tons and worth more than $60 million, the tanker is by far the heaviest and most valuable vessel detained by the court.

What’s more, with an initial price of 390 million yuan ($55.03 million), it is also the most expensive vessel to be auctioned on the judicial auction platform on Taobao.com, one of China’s most popular e-commerce platforms.

During the court hearing held on May 9, the two parties differed on issues ranging from calculation of the interest on the debts to the application of law.

After multiple rounds of mediation conducted by the court, the parties finally reached consensus on all the issues and voluntarily signed the mediation agreement.

The settlement of the case helps raise the credibility of China’s maritime justice system around the world, and epitomizes the effort of the Haikou Maritime Court to build a law-based, internationalized and business-friendly business environment.